Fire burns in north Routt County

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— A fire in the Routt National Forest northeast of Clark had burned an estimated 80 acres Friday evening and by press time had not been controlled.

Mark Esner he, who was guiding a group out of the Elk River Guest Ranch, was one of the first to spot the fire around 11 a.m.

"It looked like 20- to 30-foot flames when we saw it," said Esner.

The fire was burning west of Coulton Creek, just south of Pearl Lake, said Forest Service spokeswoman Denise Germann, adding : "It's in an old clear cut area."

The 20-person Yampa Fire Crew and eight Forest Service smokejumpers responded, along with members of the North Routt Fire District.

Forest Service officials suspect that the fire was started by lightning. No structures were threatened as of Friday afternoon.

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