Colorado wildfire update: Fires burning across the state |

Colorado wildfire update: Fires burning across the state

The Sylvan Fire burns southwest of Sylvan Lake State Park on Sunday, June 20, near Eagle.
Photo by Chris Dillmann / Vail Daily

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with new information about the Sylvan Fire and the West Fire.

As of Monday, June 21, there were six wildfires burning in Colorado. While no fires are currently burning in Summit County, the area is experiencing haze and smoke due to the nearby blazes. However, according to PurpleAir, “air quality is considered satisfactory, and air pollution poses little or no risk” at various sites across Summit County.

Summit County is currently under Stage 1 fire restrictions, which prohibit open fires, fireworks and smoking in undesignated areas, among other things. Wildfire danger is rated as “very high.” A fire weather watch is in effect for Summit County and surrounding counties Tuesday, June 22, for dry and windy conditions.

Sylvan Fire

  • Location: 12 miles south of Eagle
  • Size: 1,424 acres
  • Containment: 0%
  • Start date: June 20
  • Cause: Lightning suspected

Following a mapping flight, the U.S. Forest Service estimates the Sylvan Fire has burned 1,424 acres since it ignited Sunday afternoon.

What’s more, weather conditions forecast for Monday afternoon look troubling.

“It will likely be an active afternoon,” said David Boyd, a spokesperson for the White River National Forest. “The weather outlook is for red flag, or borderline red flag conditions (Monday).”

Crews battling the Sylvan Fire near Eagle worked through much of Sunday night to build fire lines along Powerline Road. The active fire, which was first reported Sunday afternoon less than a mile from the Sylvan Lake Park campground, is burning 12 miles south of Eagle in the White River National Forest.

Firefighters reported extreme fire behavior Sunday as strong winds pushed the fire to the south and southeast. After the fire broke out around 3:15 p.m. Sunday, it quickly grew to more than 180 acres by nightfall.

Campers and others recreating in Sylvan Lake State Park and much of the surrounding lands were evacuated Sunday. The area in the vicinity of the fire has been closed, including Sylvan Lake State Park. Firefighters have taken steps to protect structures at the state park. Other infrastructure at risk includes an Xcel Energy transmission cable.

Vail Daily

Muddy Slide Fire

  • Location: South Routt County, east of Routt County Road 16
  • Size: More than 100 acres
  • Containment: 0%
  • Start date: June 20
  • Cause: Unknown

There are between 50 and 100 firefighters and other personnel working on the Muddy Slide Fire in South Routt County, and the blaze is still estimated at around 100 acres.

The fire was first reported at 3 p.m. Sunday and is believed to be only within the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest. There are two hand crews on-site as well as multiple engines from local fire protection districts and from the U.S. Forest Service, according to Aaron Voos, spokesperson for the Forest Service.

“This is a highly visible fire based on where it is at,” Voos said. “People should expect to see smoke again. The fire is established. … We’re going to be dealing with it for a few days.”

Routt County sent out pre-evacuation notices Sunday evening to residents near Green Ridge and the South Stagecoach area, which is to the east and north of the fire. There haven’t been any additional notices as of 11 a.m. Monday.

Voos said there are no closures around the fire at this time, but some are expected later in the day. Helicopters were working on the fire early Monday and will continue the aerial attack throughout the day.

Steamboat Pilot & Today

Brush Creek Fire

  • Location: near Brush Mountain on Douglas Pass
  • Size: 10 acres
  • Start date: June 20

The Brush Creek Fire, located near Brush Mountain on Douglas Pass, is estimated at 10 acres and putting up lots of smoke but not making any active runs at this time, according to a news release from Garfield County Emergency Management.

“Two engine crews and three modules are working to contain the fire,” the release states.

Crews are estimated to contain the fire by Tuesday.

Post Independent

Oil Springs Fire

  • Location: 20 miles south of Rangely
  • Size: 5,000 acres
  • Containment: 0%
  • Start date: June 18
  • Cause: Lightning

The Oil Springs Fire, which is located 20 miles south of Rangely and about 11 miles from the Brush Creek Fire, is also producing a lot of smoke and was at 5,000 acres as of 2 a.m. Monday, according to a release from the Bureau of Land Management.

Numerous road closures are in place, including Colorado Highway 139, which runs from Loma to Rangely.

The fire is 0% contained at this time and was caused by lightning.

The fuel type is juniper and pinyon.

The fire experienced significant growth Sunday, with multiple spot fires and crossing Colorado Highway 139, according to the release.

“Firefighters are still witnessing active fire behavior due to dry conditions, receptive fuels and wind. Multiple agencies have been called in to assist with structure protection through the night as winds are expected to continue with gusts up to 40 mph,” the release states.

Post Independent

West Fire

  • Location: Northwest Moffat County
  • Size: 2,403 acres
  • Start date: June 20
  • Cause: Lightning

The Bureau of Land Management is the lead agency on a wildfire being dubbed the West Fire in far northwest Moffat County, where Moffat County Sheriff’s Office firefighters are also assisting.

Suppression efforts on the fire began Sunday. The fire, burning on Middle Mountain about 100 miles northwest of Craig, has reached about 700 acres, per a release from the BLM late Monday morning. The bulk of the fire is on BLM land, with some on state land.

“The fire is burning in heavy lodgepole pine, and no structures are currently threatened,” the release stated. “Moffat County Road 72 is currently closed.”

Five engines, one Hotshot crew and some Moffat County equipment is supporting the fire, the release said. Lightning is suspected as the cause of the fire, which is very close to the Wyoming and Utah borders.

Craig Daily Press

Trail Canyon Fire

  • Location: 10 miles northwest of Red Mesa
  • Size: 881 acres
  • Containment: 30%
  • Start date: June 18
  • Cause: Lightning

According to the national Incident Information System, the Trail Canyon Fire was started by lightning and is burning on Ute Mountain Ute Tribal lands in Montezuma County. The fire grew to around 840 acres due to strong winds on Saturday.

There are approximately 65 firefighters assigned to the blaze. Helicopters and fixed-wing air tankers have been called to the scene, and additional resources are expected to arrive Monday.

— Summit Daily staff

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