Massive smoke plume seen from around Grand County is from Sugarloaf Fire in remote part of Williams Fork
Updated at 7:43 p.m.: The Sugarloaf Fire is burning 13 miles southwest of Fraser in a remote area of the Williams Fork drainage, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
It is estimated at 300 acres, burning towards the high alpine tundra, and resources are on scene. The U.S. Forest Service is managing several fires in the region and resources are being prioritized where life and property are at risk.
The safety of the public and firefighters is most important.
Firefighters are actively monitoring this fire.
Although Forest Service management is not using full suppression techniques, they are looking for opportunities to prevent growth while minimizing risk to firefighters.
A fire that broke out near the Sugarloaf Campground and Henderson Mill south of Parshall has quickly grown from 20 acres to more than 40, according to Christian Hornbaker, Grand County emergency. Sky-Hi News first reported the wildfire when it broke out early this morning.
Hornbaker said fire crews in Grand County have the fire under control, and plan to let it burn naturally to a certain point. Crews from Grand Fire, East Grand Fire and the Hot Sulphur Springs/Parshall Fire Protection District are currently on the scene.
“They’re just going to let it burn up to a point where they don’t want it to pass,” said Hornbaker.
The fire, dubbed the Sugarloaf Fire, is burning primarily beetle kill wilderness on Forest Service land which limits what types of responses are available to firefighters.
A giant plume of smoke can be seen from around Grand County, but officials are asking the public not to call 911. At this point there is no danger to Grand County structures or residents.
There were two campgrounds in the vicinity of the fire — the South Fork and Sugarloaf campgrounds — which were evacuated, though the evacuations have since been lifted.
The Sugarloaf Fire was the first of two to break out in Grand County today, as officials are still dealing with a smaller quarter-acre blaze near Grand Lake, according to Hornbaker.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.
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