BLM reports minimal Iron Fire growth

Steamboat Pilot & Today
Staff report

Despite air crews being grounded by high winds on Saturday, the Bureau of Land Management reported “minimal” growth of the Iron Fire.

Additionally, the BLM reported Sunday that the wildfire burning about 17 miles northwest of Craig was 30% contained. First reported on Friday, the fire is still estimated at 7,361 acres. It had grown to more than 5,500 acres by Friday evening. Its cause is still under investigation.

The fire is currently threatening six structures, but the fire did not have significant growth outside the initial attack footprint on Saturday, with most fire activity occurring in interior islands of previously unburned fuels, according to the BLM.

Firefighters reportedly made progress in fire containment and suppression efforts, and an increase in cloud cover and precipitation has lessened the fire behavior, giving firefighters an opportunity to increase containment. Authorities are also hopeful for more favorable weather Monday.

The Moffat County Sheriff’s Office, Moffat County Road and Bridge, Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control and Bureau of Land Management have all worked to contain the Iron Fire.

According to the BLM, 45 firefighters were working to contain the Iron Fire on Sunday with fire engines, hand crews and heavy equipment all aiding the effort. While heavy equipment operators continue to work to create a direct fire line to increase containment, engines and hand crews are mopping up hotspots and extinguishing flames along the fire’s edge.

Once containment increases and fire lines are secure, the BLM, Moffat County officials and the DFPC plan to assess the need for suppression repair on the heavy equipment cut lines.

There are no evacuation orders in place. However, Moffat County Road 17 has been closed from County Roads 7 to 3, and Moffat County Road 5 is closed from County Roads 3 to 7.

Smoke will be visible from Colorado Highway 13 and County Roads 3 and 7 but is not anticipated to impact any roadway directly.

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