Grand County, Routt National Forest officials on high alert as the Black Mountain Fire burns northeast of Kremmling
KREMMLING — The Black Mountain Fire that is burning northeast of Kremmling — about 45 miles north of Summit County — showed little growth overnight Monday, Aug. 30, as fire crews are looking for rain later this week to help them get containment on the flames.
The fire had burned 170 acres as of Tuesday, Aug. 31, on the west side of Slide Mountain off County Road 2 in Grand County. Fire crews have been utilizing air and ground resources to battle the fire. A Type 3 Incident Management Team took over Monday.
The fire was first reported around 1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 29. Its cause remains under investigation. On Sunday, the blaze was estimated to have burned about 150 acres. By Monday afternoon, that figure was up to 170 acres.
There are 10 structures in the area currently considered at risk, and two areas are under pre-evacuation orders.
The Routt National Forest has issued a closure area for the fire.
Routt National Forest Public Information Officer Aaron Voos said the fire mostly burned fuels in the area on Monday and didn’t make any big runs.
“It allowed us to get some of our resources in and develop a plan to approach this fire, so (there are) lots of positives with the way the fire behaved,” Voos said of Monday’s growth.
He added that getting aerial resources to drop fire retardant soon after the fire was reported has helped immensely to slow the fire’s growth. The majority of the fire is burning toward the south and southeast direction.
Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin said his office is working closely with fire partners to determine pre-evacuation and evacuation orders. Though the Black Mountain Fire started in a similar area to the East Troublesome Fire, Schroetlin noted that the two fires are behaving very differently at this point.
“The effects of the East Troublesome Fire are on the minds of all of us and we understand the community’s concern, and … we’re diligently watching what’s occurring,” Schroetlin said.
The weather was hot and dry Sunday and Monday. Tuesday’s forecast called for similar conditions with rain moving into the area Wednesday, Sept. 1, and Thursday, Sept. 2. Voos said fire crews are hoping to take advantage of the precipitation and build containment lines.
On Tuesday, two helicopters, one hand crew and several fire engines were working the blaze. Terrain in the area is a mix of timber and downed trees, as well as sagebrush. Voos said if the fire continues to move south, the terrain becomes mostly sagebrush, which would allow for more direct firefighting.
The Black Mountain Fire is burning about 2 miles west of the East Troublesome burn scar. Voos said it would be unlikely for the fire to continue to burn if it reaches the Troublesome burn scar because of the lack of fuels in the area.
The fire is expected to be an extended-duration fire, meaning it will likely burn through the end of the season.
This story is from SkyHiNews.com.
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