Deep Creek Fire grows to 88 acres, determined to be human caused

The Deep Creek Fire pictured Wednesday, Oct. 7.
Photo from Steve Lipsher / Summit Fire & EMS

FRISCO — Firefighters are still hard at work combatting the Deep Creek Fire burning in northern Summit County, but officials say they’ve made good progress in slowing the fire’s growth throughout the day Thursday, Oct. 8.

The fire ignited at about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 7, northwest of Green Mountain Reservoir. Officials have determined the fire was human caused, and an investigation into the fire’s origin is underway.

A multimission aircraft from the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control flew over the fire Wednesday night and was able to map it at about 50 acres. The blaze grew to about 88 acres Thursday but is still not threatening any lives or structures in the area, according to officials.

“It’s looking good right now,” said David Boyd, public affairs officer with the U.S. Forest Service. “The crews have been putting in hand lines, and we’ve had a few aircrafts hitting it. With all that, we’ve been able to keep it from growing very much.”

Boyd emphasized that wildfires are unpredictable and that changes in conditions could still cause problems for firefighters over the coming hours or days. But firefighters have made considerable headway, and the fire is about 35% contained.

The fire is burning on a mixture of grass, sage and beetle-killed lodgepole pine on White River National Forest land.

An evacuation order is still in place for the Shadow Creek Ranch neighborhood west of Blue River, and a pre-evacuation notice is in place for residents sandwiched between Blue River and Colorado Highway 9 in the Spring Creek Ranch.

Summit County Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons said the Shadow Creek Ranch neighborhood is made up of second-home owners and that no residents have been displaced despite the evacuation.

About 75 firefighters were on scene Thursday, including crews from Summit Fire & EMS and the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire and Aviation Management Unit. Firefighters also had considerable air support including two helicopters, two single-engine air tankers, a large air tanker, and two “super scooper” planes carrying water from the reservoir to the fire.

“We’ve got to see how the rest of the day goes,” Boyd said. “If we’re able to keep it from growing significantly, that will have us looking good for (the coming days). We’re still in the burn period. It sounds like a sports cliche, but we’re taking it a day at a time trying to hold its forward spread, so it’s not actively growing, and getting some containment lines around it.”

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