Bureau of Land Management firefighters backfire along Moffat County Road 59 South late Tuesday night while battling the Cedar Knob Fire about 20 miles south of Maybell. Backfiring is a containment strategy that entails firefighters going ahead of the fire and conducting prescribed burn operations.

Photo by Joe Moylan

Bureau of Land Management firefighters backfire along Moffat County Road 59 South late Tuesday night while battling the Cedar Knob Fire about 20 miles south of Maybell. Backfiring is a containment strategy that entails firefighters going ahead of the fire and conducting prescribed burn operations.

Officials: Cedar Knob Fire 70-percent contained

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The Cedar Knob Fire continues to burn on private land off Moffat County Road 59 South, about 20 miles south of Maybell, officials reported Thursday.

Property owner Pete Shelton reported the fire Tuesday afternoon when he heard thunder and smelled smoke while raking hay.

Fire officials have confirmed the Cedar Knob Fire was ignited by a lightning strike.

No structural damage, injuries or fatalities have been reported from the fire, officials said.

The fire was initially estimated at 600 acres Tuesday and had grown to 1,050 acres by Wednesday afternoon.

Aircraft were requested to drop water and fire retardant Tuesday and Wednesday to help ground crews contain the blaze.

Two 20-person hand crews and six engines continued to reinforce the fire line and conducted mop up operations Thursday, according to a Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit news release.

The Cedar Knob Fire is 70-percent contained, the release stated.

Full containment was estimated for late Thursday.

Michael St. Martin, an engine captain and Type 3 certified incident commander with the BLM’s Little Snake Field Office, is serving as the incident commander.

The Cedar Knob Fire was one of five confirmed blazes reported Tuesday in Moffat County.

All other wildfires in the county are contained, fire management unit reported.

The Cold Fire, in Cold Springs near the Wyoming and Utah borders, burned eight acres of lodgepole pine on private land.

It was reportedly 100-percent contained at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

No structures were threatened.

A 20-person hand crew and two engines were on scene Thursday extinguishing any remaining hot spots, the release states.

The USA Fire burned nine acres of BLM land off Moffat County Road 7 about 10 miles northwest of Craig.

Craig Fire/Rescue, Moffat County Sheriff’s Office and BLM engines responded.

The USA Fire was reportedly contained at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

The Black Fire burned half an acre in Dinosaur National Monument.

It was contained at 10 p.m. Tuesday.

The Buck Fire was reported around 2:45 p.m. Tuesday in northwest Moffat County on the east side of Bower Draw.

Smokejumpers responded, but could not locate the fire.

It was deemed extinguished by natural causes at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Smokejumpers were redeployed Wednesday to the Twin Buttes Fire in Rio Blanco County south of Rangely.

The Twin Buttes Fire burned a quarter acre of BLM land and was contained around 9 a.m. Thursday.

Fire danger is high in Moffat and Rio Blanco counties, and moderate in Routt, Jackson and Grand counties.

Conditions remain dry and vegetation is receptive to any ignition source despite moisture received last weekend.

Stage II fire restrictions remain in effect throughout Northwest Colorado.

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