Grand County wildfire still burning on USFS land |

Grand County wildfire still burning on USFS land

Lance Maggart

A wildfire kicked off over the weekend in Grand County with local officials receiving the first reports of the blaze around mid-day Saturday afternoon Oct. 22.

The fire was still actively burning as of Monday morning with officials placing the size of the fire at approximately five-acres. The conflagration is burning on US Forest Service (USFS) land near the base of Sheep Mountain in north-central Grand County in the broad swath of land located between US Highway 125 to the east, US Highway 40 to the west and US Highway 40 to the south.

The fire is burning in an area not far from the County line between Grand and Jackson County. Initial calls received by the Grand County placed the fire somewhere near the East Fork of Troublesome Creek near the head of the Timber Creek drainage not far off of Forest Service Road 107, according to reports from County authorities.

Because the fire is burning on USFS administered land the fire is being handled under Federal Jurisdiction and Guidelines.

The latest update issued by the Grand County Sheriff’s Office (GCSO) Monday morning states the fire is burning primarily in timber on Forest Service land. “They have used fixed wing aircraft with retardant to surround and ‘box in’ the perimeter around the fire,” states the release. “The fire has not spread beyond that boundary, and they don’t believe it will.”

Aerial firefighting assets were still actively engaging the fire Monday morning with helicopters being used to, “drop water on the fire to keep it from spreading”.

County officials stated weather forecasts indicated the region is expected to receive overnight moisture tonight, Monday Oct. 24, which, “will help keep the fire contained and work towards putting it out,” states the press release from the GCSO.

As of Monday morning the USFS had not closed any roads in the area and had not issued any closures to access Forest lands, however the USFS is requesting all citizens stay out of the area for their own safety. The fire remains under active monitoring and the USFS will advise of any concerns or instances of fire extending beyond the current boundaries.

Updates from the GCSO were provided by the Routt Fire Command Officer. Multiple local fire agencies, including the Grand Fire Protection District and the Kremmling Fire Protection District, responded to the blaze Saturday. The extremely remote location of the fire seriously impeded the response time of firefighters though. According to Lt. Dan Mayer with the GCSO responders spent upwards of an hour-and-a-half trying to reach the fire through the circuitous winding mountain roads that provide access to the remote area.

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