Forest fire burns in North Routt

Wildland crew, national forest personnel work to extinguish blaze

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Wildland firefighters are working to contain an eight-acre blaze burning in the Routt National Forest west of the Mount Zirkel Wilderness Area, North Routt Fire Protection District Chief Bob Reilley said.

Reilley said North Routt crews responded to the blaze about 3 p.m. Sunday. According to Routt County dispatchers, the first call went out at 12:46 p.m. Sunday.

The cause of the fire, which started near the Coulton Creek trailhead at Forest Service Road 1180, is undetermined, Reilley said.

He said the fire is not particularly big and was manageable for the crews working to contain it.

“There’s no structures threatened at this point and it’s burning mostly aspen and grass, mixed conifer,” Reilley said.

The 20-person Winema Inter­­agency Hotshot Crew, a U.S. Forest Service wildland firefighting crew from Klamath Falls, Ore., and six Routt National Forest personnel were working to extinguish the fire, Reilley said. He added that a helicopter crew was making bucket drops with water he believed was from Hinman Lake.

“I think they’re expecting they’ll work it tonight and finish it up tomorrow,” Reilley said.

The fire danger is still very high, Reilley said. He reminded campers to make sure their fires are out before leaving campsites. He also advised against burning flash piles and other agricultural burns until snow is on the ground.

The Routt County Sheriff’s Office also responded to the fire Sunday afternoon.

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