Good conditions aid firefighters

Lightning causes several more fires in the area


— High relative humidity and favorable weather conditions Friday allowed firefighters to aggressively attack the Hinman fire 23 miles north of Steamboat Springs.

The fire remained fairly inactive except for a few spot fires and some torching of trees on the north end.

The blaze, now contained at 22 percent, did not spread beyond 1,310 acres.

Helicopters shared by other area fires assisted firefighters with bucket drops.

Almost 450 people are now assigned to the fire.

"Finally, as we are getting enough firefighters in place, my confidence is growing that we can get a handle on the fire," said Lawrence Garcia, incident commander for the Type II incident management team in charge of the fire.

But the potential for high growth on the Hinman fire still exists, fire officials said.

The cost of the fire is now estimated at $1,642,000.

Seedhouse Road, trails and campgrounds remain closed for firefighter and public safety, although all businesses and guest ranches along that road are open.

Local fire districts committed to protecting structures threatened by the fire in the south are looking at next week pulling out county resources, such as bulldozers and water tenders, assigned to the fire.

"If they are still needed, we will plug in private resources," Routt County Emergency Manager Chuck Vale said.

Local fire crews have daily hauled about 60,000 gallons of water to crews working the southern end of the fire.

The threat to homeowners and business owners along the Seedhouse corridor is minimal thanks to a secure line around the fire's southern end.

Local firefighters are tired, but they have gained a great deal of experience from their work on the Hinman fire, Vale said.

"This is what they've trained for for years," he said.

The fire has also prompted local homeowners to take an interest in clearing their yards of fuel to create a good, defensible space around their house, he added.

The Green Creek fire 15 miles southeast of Steamboat showed moderate growth to the north and south.

The fire has consumed 2,537 acres in the Sarvis Creek Wilderness area.

The fire is burning extremely dry, dead and down trees between Sarvis Creek and Green Creek.

More than 50 people are now assigned to that fire.

The Lost Lakes fire continued to consume beetle-killed timber in the Flat Tops Wilderness area of the Routt and White River national forests.

The fire has consumed more than 1,650 acres.

A new fire spread to about 20 acres west of Big Fish Lake and about five miles south of the Lost Lakes fire.

South Routt saw high fire activity Friday night from thunderstorms that moved through the area.

Lightning caused several fires, one of which began along County Road 179 by Trout Creek and C.R. 33 and 33B.


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