Officials update community on wildland fires in Moffat and Rio Blanco counties | CraigDailyPress.com

Officials update community on wildland fires in Moffat and Rio Blanco counties

Craig Daily Press Staff Report

— Of the 20 wildland fires reported Sunday, only three remain uncontained, according to a news release from the Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit.

The Four Mile Fire was declared 100 percent contained at 1 p.m. Monday and remains at 1,026 acres.

The largest of the three fires that have not been contained is the 87-acre Long Fire about 25 miles northwest of Meeker. It started on state land and burned onto Bureau of Land Management land.

Assigned to the fire is one BLM engine, two Colorado Juniper Valley 20-person fire crews, one from Rifle and one from Canyon City and Moffat County Sheriff's Office.

The fire is burning in grass with scattered juniper trees. It was lightning caused with no structures threatened.

On Monday, two new lightning-caused wildfires were reported. Both are located in Rio Blanco County on BLM land. The Dragon Fire was contained at 10:20 a.m. at one-10th acre. The Steward Fire is expected to be contained later this evening and is less than one-10th acre.

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Holdovers from recent lightning are a possibility for new reports of wildland fires. A holdover occurs when lightning strikes but conditions don't support immediate flame visibility. The heat from the strike can remain for a few days before flames are visible.

Due to high fire danger, a red flag warning was issued Monday for Moffat and Rio Blanco counties from 2 to 9 p.m. Monday, according to the National Weather Service.

The warning is due to gusty winds, low humidity and dry fuels.

Winds out of the west are expected to gust up to 35 miles per hour. The combination of forecasted conditions creates the potential for rapid fire growth upon ignition and contributes to extreme fire behavior.

Fire officials were asking people to refrain from using fire outdoors Monday afternoon and evening.

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