Firefighters make progress on northwest Colorado fires
CRAIG – Firefighters made good progress on containment of the Divide and Thornburg fires yesterday despite strong afternoon winds, stated Bureau of Land Management spokesperson David Boyd in a new release distributed about 12:30 p.m. Sunday, July 8. They expect the progress to continue today.
The Divide Fire 23 miles north of Craig is now mapped at 19,947 acres, although it did not actively grow yesterday. About 70 firefighters strengthened firelines and brought containment to 40 percent yesterday. Crews will continue working the perimeter of the fire today. For the latest information on the Divide Fire, log on to inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5897. The cause of this continues to be under investigation. Two structures were destroyed as a result of the fire.
The Thornburg Fire five miles west of Maybell also did not grow yesterday and is holding at 1,636 acres. About 45 firefighters worked with two helicopters securing the fire’s perimeter yesterday. The Thornburg Fire is now 50 percent contained. For the latest information on the Thornburg Fire, log on to inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5903. The cause is likely lightning. No structures were damaged or lost.
No injuries have been reported as a result of the Divide or Thornburg fires.
Crews were busy working a number of new starts last night after lightning moved through northwestern Colorado.
The largest is the 188-acre Fawn Fire, actively burning in a rugged, remote area of the Piceance Basin about 30 miles southwest of Meeker. No structures are immediately threatened. About 55 firefighters are working the fire today. Two heavy air tankers — C-130 MAFFS from Colorado Springs — dropped retardant on the fire this morning. Fawn Fire updates are available at inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5906.
Another fire, the Ridge Top fire is a 150-acre fire burning through oak brush and pinyon-juniper on private land near mile marker 27 on Colorado Highway 13. As of the morning of Sunday, July 8 the fire was not impacting the highway as was reported as 70 percent contained. Ridge Top fire updates are available facebook.com/RioBlancoCountySheriffsOffice.
Both Fawn and Ridge Top fires are believed to have been started from lightning strikes.
Northwest Colorado remains under Stage 1 Fire Restrictions. Restrictions prohibit the following activities:
• Open burning, excepting fires and campfires within permanently constructed fire grates in developed campgrounds and picnic grounds, charcoal grills and wood burning stoves at private residences in areas cleared of all flammable materials, and those other exceptions/exemptions as noted in Section 9 of Moffat County Ordinance 13-03.
• Using explosive material — fireworks, blasting caps, tracer rounds, exploding targets or any incendiary device which may result in the ignition of flammable material.
• Welding or operating an acetylene or other torch with an open flame, except within an areas that are barren or cleared of all flammable material at least 10 feet on all sides from the equipment and when the welder possess a chemical-pressurized, five-pound fire extinguisher and one round-pointed shovel with an overall length of at least 36 inches. The extinguisher and shovel may be kept with the welding supplies but must be readily available for quick use.
• Outdoor smoking is also prohibited except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.
• Operating or using any internal combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained and in effective working order.
For more information, call the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office at 970-824-4495.
The crisp autumn conditions Moffat County High School distance runners have come to expect were a little more intense Friday as the Bulldog cross country teams hit the regional course.