130-acre Strawberry Fire near Meeker burns 12 vehicles, 4 outbuildings
Fire is 100 percent contained
A 130-acre fire two miles west of Meeker called the Strawberry Fire burned 12 vehicles and four outbuildings along County Road 7 Thursday, according to the Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Office. The fire is now 100 percent contained.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, according to the Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit. No private residences were lost, although two were threatened.
“It was very critical. That was our number one objective — to save the residences,” said Ty Gates, Rio Blanco County emergency manager and reserve deputy.
He said also that two firefighters had minor injuries from fighting the fire. No other injuries were reported.
“It was a great team effort,” Gates said. “I think that everything went as smooth as it could. It was very impressive that they could save the two houses.”
County Road 7 is also called Strawberry Road. The fire — that also burned sage, grass and pinion juniper fuels — was 100 percent contained Friday morning, according Pat Thrasher from the Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit.
Thrasher said in addition to threatening two residences, the fire knocked out power for several homes in the area.
“The electric utility is on scene doing what’s necessary to restore power to homeowners in the area,” he said, noting he wasn’t sure how many homes lost electricity as a result of the fire.
Gates said the fire caused damage to transformers, power lines and power poles, leading to the outage.
The fire was located roughly 2.5 miles up from Highway 64 and it’s now in the mop up stage. Meeker Fire Department, Rio Blanco County, State of Colorado and the Bureau of Land Management responded to the fire. Rio Blanco County Sheriff Anthony Mazzola was the Incident Commander.
The National Weather Service has posted a Red Flag Warning and Fire Weather Watch for much of Northwestern Colorado for Friday, according to the press release.
That means there is the potential for rapid fire spread should a wildfire get started. The public is urged to exercise extreme caution with open fires.
Fire danger remains high in Moffat and Rio Blanco counties, according to Craig Interagency Fire Dispatch Center.
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The Lower and Central Yampa River Basin, which include Craig, Hayde, Rangely, Dinosaur and Meeker, will be under a winter storm warning from the National Weather Service starting at 6 a.m. Thursday.