Steamboat Springs As fire crews took big steps toward containing and controlling the Mad Creek fire in the past two days, locals are being invited to take a look at the fire and the work firefighters have done.
From 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, the Forest Service Office in Steamboat Springs will host a public meeting where residents can view an aerial video of the fire and talk to forest managers.
Forest Service spokeswoman Diann Pipher said the community meeting is a good opportunity to see what is happening at Mad Creek and view portions of the 1997 Routt Divide Blowdown, where the fire is burning.
Kim Vogel, Hahn's Peak/Bears Ears District ranger, will be present to discuss strategies for managing a fire, Pipher said.
She will be joined by wildfire experts from various government agencies who will answer questions about fire behavior.
The latest report shows the fire, which is burning 11 miles north of Steamboat Springs and six miles east of Moon Hill, is growing slowly. On Sunday, fire crews burned about 200 acres of land on the northeast side of the fire to reduce fuels around the blaze and to secure a fire line.
Fire officials are estimating the total acreage the fire burned is 1,025, including the acreage burned in the control fire. Small amounts of rain that fell in the area assisted crews in containing about 35 percent of the fire, according to the Craig Interagency Dispatch Center.
Crews initially responded to the Mad Creek fire on July 9, when flames were spotted. The fire is thought to be the result of a lightning strike. It burned about 100 acres in a blowdown area near Swamp Park in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness.
The blowdown was caused by a wind storm in 1997 that blew down thousands of acres of trees in a 30-by-5-mile area.
The fire was under control a few days later. However, an undetected hot spot from the blaze remained, which flared up on July 24.
Hot Shot crews from Colorado, New Mexico, Montana, and Wyoming, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the U.S. Forest Service and Colorado State Parks have fought on the fire. A total of 145 people have worked to contain the fire.
Complete containment is targeted for Thursday.