Fire Management Unit: Fire activity subdued Thursday |

Fire Management Unit: Fire activity subdued Thursday

Craig Daily Press Staff Report

A fire near Rangely has been 40 percent contained, the Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit reported Thursday night, and full containment is expected by Saturday night.

The Spring Creek Fire, located 18 miles southeast of Rangely, in Rio Blanco County on the east fork of Spring Creek, began about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday in a canyon bottom.

The fire did not start by natural causes, fire officials reported.

About 15 power poles have been burned by the fire, which has encompassed about 1,340 acres of private land and Bureau of Land Management ground. It has threatened five structures – historical cabin and outbuildings – and additional power lines, the Fire Management Unit reported. That’s a downgrade from Wednesday’s fire report, in which fire officials indicated oil and gas infrastructure also was threatened.

Higher relative humidity and cloud cover helped subdue fire activity Thursday.

Two helicopters continued to work hot spots and support ground crews, and mop-up procedures began, the Fire Management Unit reported.

An air tanker has been ordered for today’s efforts.

Winds as fast as 10 to 14 miles per hour with gusts as fast as 25 miles per hour have been forecast, and “will likely cause erratic fire behavior,” the Fire Management Unit stated.

Grass, brush, pinyon and juniper trees, mountain mahogany, and Douglas Fir is fueling the fire.

Agencies at the scene are Rio Blanco County, Rangely Rural Fire Protection District, the U.S. Forest Service, BLM and the Colorado State Forest Service.

Incident commander Jim Michels asked Thursday for the public’s help in aiding firefighters by reducing traffic congestion on Rio Blanco County Road 122.

“If you choose to stop along RBC Road 122, please find a pullout to allow other traffic to pass by,” the Fire Management Unit stated. “This is an issue of safety for everyone traveling on that road. RBC Road 103 remains closed to the public.”

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