Officials suspect Moffat County fire was sparked by lightning |

Officials suspect Moffat County fire was sparked by lightning

Joe Moylan/Craig Daily Press

Bureau of Land Management firefighters backfire along Moffat County Road 59 South late Tuesday night while battling the Cedar Knob Fire about 20 miles south of Maybell. Backfiring is a containment strategy that entails firefighters going ahead of the fire and conducting prescribed burn operations.

— The Cedar Knob Fire continues to burn on private land off Moffat County Road 59 about 20 miles south of Maybell, officials said Wednesday.

Moffat County Sheriff Tim Jantz said firefighters with the Bureau of Land Management and the Moffat County Sheriff's Office worked on a fire line until 2:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Firefighters and a Moffat County road and bridge bulldozer crew returned to the scene at 6:30 a.m., said Lynn Barclay, public information officer for the Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit.

BLM officials estimate the size of the Cedar Knob Fire at 600 acres and suspect lightning associated with a dry thunderstorm ignited the blaze.

There is no update on containment, Jantz said, but firefighters reported flames were active when they left the fire early Wednesday. A determination on the level of containment will be made Wednesday afternoon after a meeting with BLM fire officials, Jantz said.

Property owner Pete Shelton reported the fire Tuesday afternoon. No structure damage, injuries or fatalities have been reported, officials said.

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Additional fires

The Cedar Knob Fire was one of five confirmed fires reported Tuesday in Moffat County.

• Moffat County Sheriff's Office firefighters also are battling the Cold Fire in Cold Springs near the Wyoming and Utah borders.

The Cold Fire is eight acres in size and burning in lodgepole pine trees, according to a Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit news release.

BLM and National Park Service firefighters also responded to the scene.

No structures are immediately threatened.

• The USA Fire burned nine acres of BLM land off C.R. 7 about 10 miles northwest of Craig.

Craig Fire/Rescue, the Sheriff's Office and BLM engines responded.

The USA Fire was reported contained at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

An engine has been assigned to patrol the scene throughout the day Wednesday.

• The Black Fire burned half an acre in Dinosaur National Monument. It was contained at 10 p.m. Tuesday.

• The Buck Fire was reported around 2:45 p.m. Tuesday in northwest Moffat County on the east side of Bower Draw.

Smokejumpers responded but could not locate the fire. It was deemed extinguished by natural causes at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Fire danger is high in Moffat and Rio Blanco counties and moderate in Routt, Jackson and Grand counties, Barclay said.

Conditions remain dry and vegetation is receptive to any ignition source despite moisture received last weekend.

Stage 2 fire restrictions remain in effect throughout Northwest Colorado.

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