Milk Creek Fire near Meeker continues to burn for environmental benefits

A 25-acre fire is burning roughly 15 miles northeast of Meeker, and officials are letting it slowly burn to reduce dead and downed vegetation, according to a news release.

It’s being called the Milk Creek Fire.

The fire started on July 4 from a lightning strike, and — in the past few days — smoke has been seen in both Craig and Meeker, said Lee Ann Loupe, fire information officer for the Upper Colorado River Interagency Agency Fire Management Unit.

“It’s burning in an aspen and conifer stand that’s got a lot of dead material in it, so partly what they’re doing is allowing the fire to burn,” Loupe said. “Aspen typically doesn’t burn very hot or carry very far.”

Fire crews will keep an eye on the burning acres and hope that cooler temperatures along with forecasted rain will eventually fully suppress the fire.

“We are managing this fire to achieve forest health and fuel reduction objectives which means we will not actively suppress the fire at the time,” Blanco District Ranger Ken Coffin said in the release. “However, for the duration of this event, we will closely monitor the fire and frequently reassess our strategy. Because this site is fairly high elevation and wet, and because we have crews and resources immediately available should we need to take a more aggressive approach and suppress the fire, we have chosen this management option.”

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