Crews reach 85-percent containment on Cedar Fire |

Crews reach 85-percent containment on Cedar Fire

Joe Moylan

Fire crews have achieved 85-percent containment on the Cedar Fire, a blaze near Cedar Mountain, five miles northwest of Craig, the Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit reported late Wednesday.

The fire began about 11 a.m. Tuesday on Bureau of Land Management public land at the base of Cedar Mountain on Moffat County Road 7. It's been described as a "wildland urban interface fire."

"Fire crews made good progress with mop-up and fireline reinforcement today," according to fire authorities. "However access to parts of the fire was hampered by steep, rough terrain. No support with retardant was necessary and there has been no fire growth."

The Tatanka, S.D., Hot Shot crew and one BLM engine were released to assist with another fire reported Wednesday afternoon. The cause of the Cedar Fire, which burned 75 acres Tuesday, is still under investigation.

First responders Tuesday included the Moffat County Sheriff's Office, Craig Fire/Rescue and the BLM. Yampa Valley Electric Association and The Memorial Hospital's Emergency Medical Services also had personnel at the scene.

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Cedar Mountain is home to communication towers used by Moffat County, Colorado State Patrol, Public Service, KRAI, Tri-State Generation & Transmission, Mountain West Communications, Northwest Towers, Western Area Tower Association, Colorado Public Radio, Union Telephone and Verizon Wireless.

One outbuilding has been destroyed and a power pole has been damaged by the fire, fire officials said.

A mitigating factor that aided in protecting the communication towers was the hazardous fuel reduction work done by the BLM four years ago, firefighters reported.

No structures are threatened as of tonight and no injuries have been reported.

Fire officials are reevaluating when full containment can be achieved.

Northwest Colorado residents are advised that Cedar Mountain's recreation area is closed until the fire is contained.

Officials also request residents avoid Moffat County Road 7 if possible due to heavy traffic in the area.

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