Updated: Wildfire threatens railroad tracks in Moffat County | CraigDailyPress.com

Updated: Wildfire threatens railroad tracks in Moffat County

A wildfire burns south of the Yampa River, eight to 10 miles southwest of Craig, on Sunday. The blaze is suspected to have been sparked by lightning.
Genevieve Yazzie/courtesy

Editor’s note: This story was updated Monday, Aug. 27.

CRAIG — Railroad tracks were threatened by a wildfire that flared up a little past 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 26, after a lightning-producing storm passed through the area.

The fire — named the William’s Fork Fire — was located eight to 10 miles southwest of Craig on the south side of the Yampa River, across from a ranch at the end of Moffat County Road 30.

The fire was reported about 5:30 p.m., when families along MCR 30 smelled, then spotted, smoke. It was fully contained by 11:15 p.m. Sunday.

The families who reported the fire also assisted in locating it, then provided information about accessing the remote area using Bureau of Land Management, ranch, and Empire Energy roads.

A helicopter and airplanes were brought in by the BLM to assist with fire suppression efforts. About an hour later, according to scanner traffic, some fire trucks were recalled from attempts to reach the fire on the ground as rain showers began.

Witnesses who helped spot the fire reported about five acres had burned through sage and grass, but shifting winds were causing the fire to move quickly, and witnesses were unsure as to how much it might have grown.

Besides the railroad tracks, no structures were thought to have been threatened.

The weekend was an active one for wildfires; the largest was the Citadel Fire, which started near Maybell on Friday and was contained the following day after burning about 300 acres of brush, grass, and pinyon-juniper.

Fourteen other wildfires flared up in the region Sunday, and most are thought to have been ignited by lightning. The largest of which were the 50-acre Ralston Fire and the 25-acre West Twin Wash fire, as reported by the Craig Interagency Dispatch Center on Monday, Aug. 26. No other details were available about these fires.

The weekend fires bring Northwest Colorado’s annual tally to 174 wildfires. Most of these fires have been small and quickly contained. All Moffat County, including the city of Craig, remains under Stage 1 Fire Restrictions.

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com.


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