Steamboat Springs firefighters Chris Moore, left, and Dave Meissner, hike Thursday through thick shrub oak toward a wildland fire along Routt County Road 41 southwest of Steamboat Springs.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Steamboat Springs firefighters Chris Moore, left, and Dave Meissner, hike Thursday through thick shrub oak toward a wildland fire along Routt County Road 41 southwest of Steamboat Springs.

Fire cause under investigation

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— The cause of a wildland fire that threatened two homes southwest of Steamboat Springs last week still is unknown, Routt County Emergency Management Director Chuck Vale said Tuesday.

Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue was dispatched to the "41" fire Thursday afternoon, on a hillside between Routt County Roads 41 and 41A, a quarter mile past the Hilton Gulch Schoolhouse.

The wildland fire, burning in thick oak brush, spread to 2 acres in size and came within a couple hundred feet of two homes, but it was contained safely later that evening. Crews from the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service also responded to the scene.

The cause of the fire still is under investigation. Last week, it was suspected a lightning strike may have ignited the fire Thursday.

Nearby landowners have been keeping a close watch on the burn area to ensure the fire does not spring up again, and the area has been quiet so far, Vale said.

Last week's fire was the largest Routt County has seen in an unexpectedly quiet wildfire season this summer. As long as warm temperatures persist, fire season normally extends through September.

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