Northwest Colorado fire roundup: West, Wild Cow and Oil Springs
Firefighters continue to fight fires in Northwest Colorado. What follows is updates on the West Fire, Wild Cow Fire and Oil Springs Fire.
The West Fire saw little growth Wednesday, according to a Thursday morning release from the Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team Black.
Still at 3,401 acres, the fire remains 30% contained, the release said.
“On Wednesday, firefighters worked primarily on the north end of the fire to secure existing fire line and prevent further fire spread to the north,” the release reads. “The fire’s growth was the result of crews completing firing operations to secure existing fire lines.”
The release noted that teams were hoping for rain in the region later Thursday and into Friday to further aid with suppression.
Wild Cow Fire
Cloud cover and higher humidity contributed to a decrease in fire activity, according to the White River National Forest Field Office’s Thursday incident report.
The fire, which is burning in northwestern Garfield County, is at 553 acres with 54 personnel responding to the scene.
Crews will continue to secure perimeter and suppression efforts, and are prepping control lines to keep the fire from progressing.
Oil Springs Fire
The Oil Springs Fire, which is located 20 miles south of Rangely, is 11,933 acres, with 155 personnel responding, according to White River Field Office wildfire incident website.
Firefighters will continue constructing a containment line in all areas around the fire.
Engine crews are combining to create six to nine-person hand crews, as requests for hand crews continue to go unfilled, the incident report states.
Firefighters are prioritizing protection of the Dragon Trail gas plant and a 37-acre spot fire six miles in front of the Oil Springs Fire.
Crews are also prioritizing containment of the fire along the Colorado Highway 139 corridor, which runs from Mack to Rangely
Two firefighting divisions located within the Oil Springs Mountain Wilderness Study Area, as well as an additional firefighting division on scene, are understaffed, the incident report states.
“Operational plans for each of these divisions are currently being prepared for implementation once critical resource orders are filled,” the report states.
The weather forecast predicts chances for showers and thunderstorms through Friday, with a 20% chance of wetting rains overnight.
“Fire will continue to spread actively, including upslope runs and occasional crown fire runs, unless significant precipitation occurs,” the report states.
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UPDATE 5:27 p.m. — Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon has reopened in both directions Saturday evening after a safety closure due to a flash flood warning. There were no reported mud/debris slides.