Hunt Fire near Meeker burns 1,800 acres
Firefighters in Northwest Colorado are asking residents to keep out of a dangerous wildland fire area about 26 miles southwest of Meeker.
In a news release Friday, Sept. 6, the Bureau of Land Management said a fire near Hunter Creek, Willow Creek and Big Jimmy Gulch areas of Rio Blanco was started Thursday night by lightning in an area of brush and downed trees too thick for firefighters to easily access.
“The lightning-caused fire is anticipated to continue to be active in the coming days,” BLM’s release said. “Firefighters and the Rio Blanco Sheriff’s Office are asking the public to stay away from the area.”
“We are closely monitoring the Hunt Fire and have resources available should we need to begin suppression,” said BLM White River Field Office Assistant Field Manager Kyle Arnold. “The fire is currently benefitting the area by burning through the thick vegetation, which will improve wildlife habitat and increase firefighter safety by reducing hazardous fuels.”
BLM said the fire is burning on their administered land, but no structures are threatened and no injuries have been reported.
An 8 p.m. update by BLM and Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Office stated that air support via helicopter had been called in to fight the blaze, at an estimated 1,000 acres as of Friday evening.
A Saturday afternoon update from Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit stated that the fire had grown to 1,874 acres.
“There are no occupied structures that are threatened by the Hunt Fire, although several historic cabins exist on private property in the vicinity,” the release said. “Firefighters were able to keep the fire from reaching those cabins yesterday afternoon, and crews will continue to focus on structure protection in the Hunter and Willow creek drainages today.”
For the latest information about the Hunt Fire, visit the Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Facebook Page, @RioBlancoCountySheriffsOffice.