Moffat County Sheriff updates commissioners on county’s fires

Patrick Kelly

Moffat County Sheriff KC Hume provided the county commissioners with an update on the multitude of fires that have sprung up across the county over the past week.

“We’re putting them out just as fast they start,” he said to Commissioners Frank Moe, John Kinkaid and Chuck Grobe Tuesday morning at their weekly meeting.

Hume said all the rain earlier in the year pushed back the fire season but conditions are now starting to become favorable for fires to spread.

On Aug. 11, Craig/Fire Rescue, Bureau of Land Management and Moffat County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 45-acre blaze east of town across U.S. Highway 40 from the Wyman Living History museum. The flames put three homes in immediate danger but thanks to the combined effort of all responders, and some help from Blaine Tucker who flew in to dump water on the fire, there were no structures damaged, Hume said.

“It was a blessing that we didn’t have any property damage,” he said.

Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit reported over 4,000 lightning strikes over the weekend, leading to 34 wildfires by Monday.

The largest of those fires was the 1,000-acre Four Mile Fire, which was 30 miles north of Craig off Moffat County Road 3 on Bureau of Land Management land. Hume said the blaze is contained and more or less extinguished.

Hume said throughout the weekend BLM and Moffat County Sheriff’s Office worked closely together. He also thanked Moffat County Road and Bridge Department for providing assistance at Four Mile.

“Without everyone’s cooperation we wouldn’t be able to address the fires as quickly as we have been,” he said.

All of the operations over the past week have been within the county’s fire control budget but there is also a $100 thousand contingency budget set aside for especially active fire seasons.

“It’s not if we’re going to have a fire season, it’s when we’re going to have a fire season and just the scope and degree of it,” Hume said.

Grobe said he was appreciative of how smoothly all the agencies tasked with responding to fires in Moffat County work together.

“We’ve got a unique situation up here that a lot of other counties don’t have,” he said.

Reach Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or Follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.

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