Black Mountain containment improves with increased fire activity expected
Hunters reminded to check area closures before heading out
Less than a week after it broke out, containment of the Black Mountain Fire has increased to 21% as of Saturday morning.
With fire activity reduced Friday because of recent rainfall, crews took the opportunity to work the fire’s edge on several fronts, according to a Saturday morning update. The additional containment was added along the south edge of the fire, which remains at 416 acres.
An estimated 180 personnel are working the fire burning 8 miles northeast of Kremmling, which began burning Sunday.
Officials added that just off the eastern “finger” of the fire, heavy equipment crews used dozers to create secondary line as part of the plan to ensure limited fire spread.
Investigators announced Friday that lightning caused the Black Mountain Fire. In Saturday’s update officials explained that by using photos and video of the fire along with mapping technology as guides, investigators were able to locate the tree that sustained the lightning strike.
Saturday’s warmer, windier weather is expected to increase fire activity with highs in the upper 60s. Firefighters will continue efforts to add containment while aerial operations will provide support with helicopter water drops to cool hot spots where needed.
A forest area closure remains in effect and there are also Bureau of Land Management closures near the fire. CPW Area Wildlife Manager Jeromy Huntington said the Black Mountain Fire will have some impacts to hunters with plans to hunt northwest of Kremmling, but there should be relatively small impacts compared to the closures seen last year.
Officials said that the Forest Service and BLM have worked to minimize the areas closed while keeping public safety in mind. It’s important for sportspeople to know before they go what fire restrictions and closures are in place for the area they intend to hunt.
Last month, Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and CPW shared the good news that more National Forest areas in last year’s burn scars would reopen across northern Colorado in time for fall recreation and hunting seasons. Even though some areas have opened, motorized roads and trail access in burn areas are still very limited and can continue to change with weather events.
Areas that have recently reopened include Long Draw Road in the Cameron Peak Fire area, the Keyser Ridge area on the Williams Fork Fire in Grand County and the western side of Stillwater Pass off CO Highway 125, which experienced significant impacts from the summer monsoons following the East Troublesome Fire.
With the recent wildfires and mudslides, some roads and trails may be closed for safety reasons. The Colorado Trail Explorer app (COTREX) is a good source for trail closure information.
The areas of K11, north of Parshall, and the west half HSS21, north of Hot Sulphur Springs, remain under pre-evacuation orders. To see the countywide evacuation map, go to http://www.co.grand.co.us/156/Office-of-Emergency-Management.
An area closure exists in the Routt National Forest and the Bureau of Land Management land and County Road 21 is closed to traffic.
Grand County is currently in Stage 1 fire restrictions, which does not allow dispersed fires.
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A Winter Park man was airlifted to Lakewood after one of his friends shot him in the back in an apparent accident Saturday night in Winter Park.