Fire danger ‘very high’ in Moffat County |

Fire danger ‘very high’ in Moffat County

Sheriff reminds residents to be mindful of dry, hot climate

Patrick Kelly
Smoky Bear stationed at Craig's Bureau of Land Management Little Snake Field Office warns people that fire danger is "very high."
Noelle Leavitt Riley

Although there are no active wildfires currently burning in Moffat County, blazes across the state should serve as a reminder of the importance of fire safety.

The Craig Interagency Dispatch Center currently has a “very high” fire danger set for Moffat County and is asking everyone to use extra caution when it comes to activities that have potential for starting a fire.

“Things are definitely drying out and fire danger is increasing in Northwest Colorado,” said David Boyd, public affairs Specialist for the Bureau of Land Management Northwest Colorado District.

To avoid starting a fire, some simple steps can be taken.

Moffat County Sheriff KC Hume advised that when extinguishing a campfire, the fire extinguished fire should be cold to the touch before left unsupervised.

“Douse the coals with sufficient amounts of water and then you stir those coals, let them sit for a period of time and then apply additional amounts of water,” he said.

Not throwing cigarette butts into foliage is a smart decision, as well. And taking caution when parking a vehicle with a hot exhaust in tall grass is always advisable, Hume said.

Boyd said that fire danger, and whether or not restrictions need to be put into place, is based on factors such as moisture, availability of fuel and weather forecasts.

“We consider all these things with the moisture and the fuel really being the critical elements,” Boyd said.

Regardless of conditions or time of year, Hume said it is everyone’s job to be cautious and apply proper fire safety.

“Fire safety is a year-round responsibility for all of us,” he said.

In Routt County, the Beaver Creek Fire has reached just under 20,000 acres with only 5 percent containment. Full containment is not expected until the end of October, according to a press release. The fire was first detected on June 19 and the cause is currently unknown.

The Hayden Pass Fire (with no relation to Hayden near Craig and Steamboat), located 3 miles southwest of Coaldale was sparked by a lightning strike on July 8 and has grown to 12,000 acres. Containment is estimated by July 20.

The human-caused Cold Springs Fire near Nederland was started on July 9 and is currently at 566 acres. Five homes are confirmed to have been lost in the blaze so far. Two Alabama men were arrested for their alleged role in starting the fire.

Contact Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or Contact Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or or follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.Contact Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or or follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.

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