UPDATED: Divide Fire sparks back up, adds thousands more acres of damage
Editor’s note: This story was updated at 4 p.m. Thursday, July 5.
CRAIG — Craig Fire/Rescue’s Fourth of July fireworks show was called off Wednesday due to emergency personnel’s response to a wildfire north of Craig.
After several days with little activity, the Divide Fire — about 32 miles north of Craig — which began June 29 and was reported by Moffat County Sheriff’s Office as fully contained on July 1, flared up Wednesday at 3 p.m., making a push to the northeast growing by 6,780 acres, said Bureau of Land Management Public Affairs Specialist David Boyd.
Craig Fire/Rescue, Moffat County Sheriff’s Office, Yampa Valley Electric Association, Moffat County Road and Bridge, and other agencies responded to the fire. Additionally, aerial resources were deployed on Wednesday including helicopter and single-engine air tanker and a heavy air tanker.
The initial response focused on saving homes, said Moffat County Sheriff KC Hume, who added that despite those efforts one home was lost to the fire bringing to two the total loss of structures by both fires.
A section of Moffat County Road 5 is closed at the intersection of Moffat County Road 5 and 3, and also at the intersection of Moffat County Road 5 and 7 through the town of Great Divide.
Fire officials currently estimate the total acres consumed by the fire to be 11,898 and while no new acres have been added since Wednesday, there is no containment estimate. The fire that started burning on primarily private land is now burning through private and public land. Command was transferred to BLM Thursday.
A Type 3 Incident Management Team is managing the fire with more than 50 personnel working on the fire, Boyd said.
No injuries or loss of livestock have been reported.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. The number of structures that might potentially be threatened is not known.
The cancellation of Fire/Rescue’s fireworks show was not caused by Stage 1 fire restrictions, which went into effect June 29 in Moffat County, rather, due to the need for firefighters to be available to respond to emergency situations. No decisions have been made about rescheduling the display, while firefighters continue to work on this and other fires across the state, Hume said.
The Craig Press will have more on this story as it develops.
Moffat County High School is on the lookout for a new head coach for the Bulldog wrestling program after this week.