Silver Creek Fire passes 11,000 acres as nearly 300 firefighters battle blaze | SkyHiNews.com

Silver Creek Fire passes 11,000 acres as nearly 300 firefighters battle blaze

The Silver Creek Fire in the late afternoon Friday, Sept. 14 continues showing off a large smoke plume. Increased fire activity forced a second evacuation of Old Park and Gore Lakes.

Warm, dry, windy conditions did little to improve the outlook of the still raging Silver Creek Fire on Sunday as firefighters continued to battle a blaze that just weeks ago appeared to be on its last legs.

As of Sunday afternoon the Silver Creek Fire, burning along the boundary of the Routt and Arapaho National Forests northwest of Kremmling, was listed at 11,405 acres in size with containment now tallied at 35 percent. Fire officials stated most of the fire activity on Saturday was contained to the interior of the nearly nine-week-old blaze, which was started on July 19 by what authorities believe was a lightning strike.

"Firefighters did clean up and prep work along the 100 Road along the north end of the fire," stated officials from the Rocky Mountain Blue Team, a Type 2 Incident Management Team overseeing suppression of the blaze.

Officials from the Blue Team explained prep work for a fire, which entails the clearing of fuels that already existing within a specified area while also working to create a clean perimeter to help minimize the further spread of a fire. The fuel types firefighters are currently tackling on the Silver Creek Fire "consist largely of grasses, brush and timber," stated officials.

Crews employed bulldozers recently in the Muddy Creek Drainage area in an effort to open old roads in the area west of Albert Reservoir. Two hotshot crews and county grader equipment assisted their efforts. Firefighters are also working to connect into what fire officials referred to as the "cold black" and "open" meadows near Red Dirt Reservoir to "protect private property".

The Silver Creek Fire continues to be fought using a "full suppression" strategy and firefighting personnel are "actively engaging the fire where it is safe to do so" according to federal officials. As of Sunday 275 firefighters are assigned to the Silver Creek Fire though more are expected to arrive in the coming days. Members of the Rocky Mountain Blue Team are working to establish and Incident Command Post, and associated camp, north of Wolford Mountain Reservoir.

According to an update from fire officials the Silver Creek Fire is currently the priority fire for air support resources. A total of four helicopters and currently working to assist and support ground crews and three air tankers are available for us "as appropriate" officials stated.

Latigo ranch, the Yost Ranch and the Gore Lakes and Old Park communities have been and remain evacuated. Pre-evacuation notices have been issued for Rabbit Ears Village, Bear Mountain and the Lake Agnes areas. Milk Creek State Wildlife Areas has also been evacuated "in an effort to clear hunters from the fire's projected path" stated officials.

Highway 134, going west from Wolford Mountain Reservoir, was closed at its junction with US Highway 40 Sunday though US 40 remained open to traffic.

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