Firefighters battling Routt County’s largest wildfire of season south of Hayden

Eleanor C. Hasenbeck/Steamboat Pilot & Today
Smoke billows from the Indian Run Fire south of Hayden.
Courtesy/West Routt Fire Protection District

HAYDEN — Routt County firefighters are battling a blaze in the area of Indian Run near Pagoda Peak in southwest Routt County.

The Indian Run Fire is burning in 165 acres of private and Bureau of Land Management land about 16 miles southwest of Hayden and about 3 miles south of Pagoda Peak, according to the Routt County Office of Emergency Management. The fire is near the Routt and Moffat county line, with the bulk of the blaze occurring within Routt County.

Routt County Emergency Management Specialist Cheryl Dalton said the fire is burning on private land for the most part, with a few acres burning on BLM land. So far, it’s the largest wildfire in Routt County this fire season.

There is no estimated containment at this time. Seventy firefighters from local fire protection districts and federal agencies are battling the blaze.

No structures are at immediate risk. Dalton said two homes are located in the area, though fire behavior Monday did not threaten them.

Hand crews and air tankers are being used to fight the fire, which is burning in grass and brush, according to the Craig Interagency Dispatch Center’s website.

“Fire managers are implementing a full suppression strategy to fight the fire and will take direct actions where it is effective and safe to do so, with the highest probability of success,” a news release stated. “Using lookouts and aerial resources, they will determine where fire lines and suppression actions can be effectively implemented to contain the fire’s spread.”

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time, though the release noted that lightning moved through the area shortly before the fire was reported.

The fire was initially reported at 8 acres at around 5 p.m. Saturday. Firefighters continued to fight flames until nightfall, then resumed operations at 8 a.m. Sunday.

On Sunday, all five fire protection districts in the county were on scene. Dalton said West Routt, Steamboat Area and Oak Creek fire protection districts were fighting the fire Saturday alongside BLM and U.S. Forest Service firefighters. Routt County Road and Bridge assisted with a bulldozer.

Sunday’s hot, dry weather and shifting wind contributed to the fire’s growth to 165 acres Sunday. Monday’s forecast included another day of hot, dry temperatures with a high near 89 degrees.

“It could be the same today,” Dalton said. “Weather conditions are much the same: high temperatures, low humidity and wind. If the wind picks up today like it did yesterday, we could have the same potential for growth.”

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