Fire near Steamboat Lake contained

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Despite adverse conditions, fire crews have contained a fire that started Wednesday afternoon about two miles west of Steamboat Lake.

The fire consumed about five acres of Routt National Forest land before smoke jumpers and area firefighters completed defense lines and stopped its spread Friday morning, U.S. Forest Service spokesman Rob Sexton said.

About 45 firefighters, including Bureau of Land Management smoke jumpers from Idaho and crews with the Forest Service and the North Routt Fire Protection District, worked to control the blaze.

One firefighter was taken to Yampa Valley Medical Center on Wednesday for an issue unrelated to the fire, Sexton said.

Fire crews planned to remain at the scene throughout the day Friday to watch for flare ups and extinguish any hot spots, he said.

The fire started on the edge of a clearing and mostly burned lodgepole pine, spruce and fir trees. The cause is under investigation, and officials are determining whether there has been any lightning in the area in the past week, Sexton said.

High winds and low humidity Thursday made fighting the fire difficult and increased concerns that burning embers could start new fires.

Similar conditions and dry lightning Friday prompted officials to remind hunters and others heading into the high country that, even though there are no fire restrictions, fire conditions are very serious.

"We are urging people to be extremely careful with fire this weekend," Sexton said.

In addition to not leaving campfires unattended, people should douse ashes with water before disposal and have water and a shovel on hand to make sure campfires are completely out, officials said.


-- To reach Tamera Manzanares call 871-4204 or e-mail tmanzanares@steamboatpilot.com

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