Deep Creek Fire remains calm overnight, crews to continue fighting blaze Thursday
The Deep Creek Fire burning in northern Summit County stayed relatively calm overnight, according to officials.
Fire crews with Summit Fire & EMS and the U.S. Forest Service stayed on scene overnight to make sure the blaze didn’t turn towards any residential areas. Summit Fire spokesperson Steve Lipsher said the fire exhibited “expected behavior” Wednesday night, and that it continued to torch trees but didn’t see any dramatic growth.
A multi-mission aircraft from the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control flew over the fire last night, and was able to map it at about 50 acres. Of note, Lipsher said that firefighters with Vail Fire, Greater Eagle Fire and Northwest Fire out of Fairplay also responded to the fire through a mountain area mutual aid agreement, but that those resources are expected to return home today.
An evacuation order is still in place for about 15 homes in the Spring Creek Ranch neighborhood west of Blue River, and Lipsher said there is currently a pre-evacuation notice in place for residents sandwiched between Blue River and Highway 9.
Crews with Summit Fire & EMS and the Forest Service will remain on scene Thursday digging containment lines and fighting the fire, along with help from a helicopter and large air tanker. A federal Type 3 incident management team is also expected to take over operations at some point, according to Lipsher.
“The intention is to fight it from both the air and on the ground, keep it out of those neighborhoods, protect structures and hopefully stop it from getting into the heavy timber,” Lipsher said.
Lipsher noted that within the coming days fire operations would likely be handed over entirely to Forest Service crews, and that Summit Fire would return to its daily duties.
On Wednesday night, Summit County activated its emergency operations center with very limited staffing due to physical distancing precautions to help support firefighters logistically and administratively.
Lipsher also lauded local restaurants for helping to feed the 50-plus individuals working on the fire overnight, noting that Jimmy Johns donated numerous free sandwiches, and others like Cheba Hut and Dominos helped out with discounts to make sure emergency workers were well fed.
“We’re greatly appreciative of that,” Lipsher said. “We had about 60 people that needed to be fed into the night on the fire lines, and our local restaurants came through in a big way.”
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