Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue firefighters arrive to put out a small grass fire alongside 13th Street on Friday afternoon.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue firefighters arrive to put out a small grass fire alongside 13th Street on Friday afternoon.

Wildfire conditions raised to moderate for region

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— A small grass fire near a Steamboat Springs propane company Friday served as a reminder of how conditions are beginning to dry out in the area.

At about 12:30 p.m., Steamboat Fire Rescue firefighters were called to a report of a grass fire at 13th Street near the James Brown Soul Center of the Universe Bridge and Schrader Propane. With gusty winds, the fire spread and grew too big to be stopped by people with fire extinguishers. It was quickly put out once firefighters arrived.

It was unclear what caused the fire, but such fires, directly along roads, are often caused by cigarettes being thrown from cars.

West Routt Fire Protection District firefighters responded to second wildfire Friday afternoon on C.R. 80 near Hayden that was caused by sparks from a grinder. Routt County Emergency Management Director Bob Struble said the fire burned about five acres and destroyed a tractor.

Struble said wildfire conditions have recently been raised to moderate for the region, which includes Routt, Jackson and Grand counties.

"It just means that we're starting to dry out," Struble said. "It's a normal occurrence of summer."

Wildfire conditions in Moffat County are high.

Struble said that none of the criteria have been met to impose fire restrictions that would limit such things as the building of campfires.

Fire restrictions are enacted when at least five of seven indicators are present.

"We're not even close to meeting any of them yet," Struble said.

One of those indicators is drought conditions. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, no parts of Routt County are experiencing drought conditions. A majority of Moffat County is experiencing abnormally dry drought conditions.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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