Beaver Creek fire expands |

Beaver Creek fire expands

Lance Maggart

The Beaver Creek fire north of Walden in North Park continued to expand this week.

Updates from the US government’s InciWeb web site revealed the fire has burned 13,275 acres as of mid-day Thursday, June 30. The total size of the fire Thursday afternoon was roughly 11,776 acres and fire containment was listed at five percent.

According to InciWeb Wednesday, “the Beaver Creek fire did not burn with the intensity seen in days prior.”

The region experienced overnight rain showers Wednesday night but the falling moisture did not suppress the fire, though it did temporarily decrease its intensity.

The Beaver Creek Fire continues to burn in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness area. Crews are not directly engaging the fire and in that area but are focusing on monitoring fire movement and informing recreationists of area closures. Crews are actively suppressing fire outside the Mount Zirkel Wilderness and around structures.

InciWeb states, “Resources are shifted as priorities are completed and new risk are prioritized. If the fire passes outside the boundaries of the Mount Zirkel Wilderness, firefighters will suppress the fire using resources and tactics to minimize firefighter risk.”

Helicopters and ground crews battling the blaze are working to ignite unburned fuels in the area. Firefighters expected smoldering and creeping fire activity Thursday. Many firefighters are focusing their efforts in the Wheeler Creek and Parsons Draw areas on structure protection in the event the fire moves further east.

Firefighters prepare structures in advance of the blaze by removing brush and debris surrounding the structures, setting up sprinklers to raise humidity and placing heat radiant reflective wrapping around structure exteriors.

As of Thursday, 562 firefighters were assigned to the Beaver Creek Fire. Fire officials believe the fire will continue to move east and south predominately but for a decrease in the size of the fire because of advantageous weather patterns expected in the region.

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