Containment on Silver Creek Fire climbs to 42 percent
Fire officials prepare to downgrade blaze to a Type 3 incident Monday morning
Containment on the Silver Creek Fire, burning roughly 16 miles northwest of Kremmling near Old Park, continues to increase this weekend with fire officials calculating current containment levels at 42 percent.
This weekend’s dramatic increase in containment levels follows a roughly week long trend that has seen containment of the Silver Creek blaze jump nearly 40 percent since last weekend. On Saturday fire officials were pegging containment on the fire at 36 percent and as recently as last Sunday containment on the blaze was listed at just five percent.
According to updates provided by fire officials the fire covered an area totaling 4,772 acres Sunday morning, a slight increase from Saturday’s listed acreage at 4,745 acres. Authorities stated they anticipate “monsoonal moisture and scattered showers” late Sunday morning with a possibility for afternoon thunderstorms.
Grand County has seen a series of late summer storm fronts move through Middle Park over the past week, which has helped the ongoing suppression efforts on the Silver Creek Fire.
“Reduced fire activity will continue due to the intermittent showers and successful suppression efforts,” stated fire officials. “Fire restoration work continues along the perimeter of the fire. Restoration includes the installation of water bars, removing hazard trees, and chipping excess debris to reduce fuels and minimize erosion.”
As containment on the fire has increased incident command for the fire has slowly pared down the number of firefighters battling the blaze. On Sunday fire officials reported a total of 311 personnel assigned to the Silver Creek Fire, a nearly 50 percent reduction from the 603 personnel assigned to the fire last Monday.
The decrease in fire activity has also prompted a change in the fire’s command status. While the fire is still being overseen by the Rocky Mountain Blue Team, a Type 2 incident command team, on Monday the Blue Team will transfer command of the Silver Creek Fire over to a Type 3 incident command team. The transition is set to occur at 6 a.m. Monday morning.
Weather in the area on Sunday is expected to track closely to weather patterns seen on Saturday with afternoon thunderstorms considered “likely” according to fire officials.
“Winds begin to increase out oft eh southwest ahead of a weak cold front and remain gusty through the evening,” officials stated. “The front crosses the region early Monday shunting monsoonal moisture away from the region. Very strong post-frontal westerly winds are expected with gusts to 40-45 mph possible through the day. Partly cloudy with cooler temperatures.”
While evacuation orders have been lifted for Grand County residents impacted by the blaze Latigo Ranch and both Old Park and the Gore Lakes areas remain under pre-evacuation status.
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