Steamboat Springs Firefighting crews from Oak Creek, Yampa and Steamboat Springs thought they had control of a small blaze southeast of Stagecoach Reservoir on Thursday night, crews from the three departments combining to tackle a fire that destroyed two barns and a large pile of hay.
The fire was on the Lost Elk Ranch on Routt County Road 16. A neighbor spotted the flames Thursday evening and called it in.
Community members tried briefly to handle the blaze, but were patrolling for stray embers by the time fire crews arrived.
The barns were too far gone by that point and, hoping to head off any expansion of the fire, crews continued that patrol while others fought to extinguish the fires that lingered in the remains of the barns and a larger fire that was devouring the hay.
"With all of the wildfire concern around the state, something like this gets immediate attention," Routt County under sheriff Ray Birch said. There was no indication Thursday what started the fire. Crews said a short but cool drizzle helped their fight.