It is believed a muffler fell off a vehicle and started a wildfire Tuesday along Colo. Highway 131.

Yampa Fire Protection District/ courtesy

It is believed a muffler fell off a vehicle and started a wildfire Tuesday along Colo. Highway 131.

Colo. 131 now open after wildfire extinguished

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— A wildfire between Yampa and Phippsburg temporarily closed Colorado Highway 131 on Tuesday afternoon.

The fire was reported at about 1:50 p.m. and it burned an area about 300 yards long in a ditch between the highway and railroad tracks, according to Yampa Fire Protection District Capt. Ralph Bracegirdle. A car muffler was found where the fire started, and it is suspected the hot muffler started the fire.

Bracegirdle said one lane of traffic had been reopened within one hour of the fire starting, and both lanes were reopened shortly after that.

Routt County Emergency Management Director Bob Struble said Tuesday’s fire was the 53rd wildfire this year in Routt County. That does not include numerous small lightning-caused fires that occurred on federal land.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com

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