Fire burns more than 400 acres near Elk Springs

Alkali Fire containment stands at 90 percent

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Responders currently are handling a 400-acre fire in Moffat County southwest of Elk Springs, and it’s not known when it will be contained.

The fire is thought to have begun at about 3:30 p.m. Saturday from an undetermined cause, said Sue Valente, acting public information officer for the Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit.

Both private and Bureau of Land Management properties have been affected.

“We’ve got some aerial assistance, as well as hand crews,” she said. “The access is pretty difficult.”

As of Sunday afternoon, the fire had grown from 300 acres to roughly 430 acres, Valente said, noting that the cool weather was a plus in firefighting efforts.

“The weather is working in our favor today. It’s not super-duper windy,” she said.

The lack of resources with fire crews still battling the 20,690-acre Alkali Fire — which Valente confirmed was at 90 percent containment as of Saturday evening — also has impacted the Elk Springs Fire.

Yet several firefighting crews were able to assist the Elk Springs Fire on Sunday, including a BLM Squad, two Juniper Valley Crews, the Roosevelt Hot Shots and Wyoming Hot Shots.

Additionally two air attack modules, five single-engine air tankers, one helicopter and county and state engines were working the fire Sunday.

The fire is burning in grass, sage, pinion and juniper about one and a half miles south of U.S. Highway 40, southeast of Elk Springs. The Northwest Fire Management Unit said its main concern for the fire is the protection of the community of Elk Springs, ranch residences and structures, oil and gas facilities, primary sage grouse habitat, and major transmission lines.

The Moffat County Sheriff's is concerned about control of traffic along U.S. Highway 40 and any evacuations if they are necessary.

The Craig Daily Press will have more on this story as it develops.

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