Dead Dog Fire 60-percent contained at nearly 18K acres Wednesday | SteamboatToday.com

Dead Dog Fire 60-percent contained at nearly 18K acres Wednesday

Lauren Blair/Craig Daily Press

Updated 11 p.m. Wednesday

The Dead Dog Fire burning near Rangely is now 60-percent contained as of 9 p.m. Wednesday, according to the Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Office on its mobile app and Facebook page.

New mapping of the fire indicates that the fire scorched 1,500 acres of private land, 569 acres of state land and the remainder, or 88 percent, was Bureau of Land Management lands.

6 p.m. Wednesday

Fire crews held the Dead Dog Fire in Northwest Colorado to 17,731 acres Wednesday with no new growth, according to spokesperson Ralph Bellah for the fire’s incident management team.

“Crews are working mostly that north side to make sure the fire doesn’t cross U.S. Highway 40 and on the east side protecting those resources,” he said, referring to the Deserado Coal Mine, which had to be evacuated Monday night but resumed operations Wednesday.

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Containment remained at 10 percent Wednesday, with crews managing to establish a containment boundary right above the oil fields near Rangely, said Rio Blanco County Sheriff Anthony Mazzola at a community meeting Tuesday.

Crews continue to work the 992-acre Hunter Fire southwest of Meeker, which maintained 70-percent containment Wednesday. Some resources shifted from the Hunter Fire to the Dead Dog Fire Tuesday, according to an update on InciWeb, and more will transfer Thursday, Bellah said.

The Dead Dog Fire, which began Sunday 10 miles north of Rangely, was determined to be human-caused and is under investigation.

Despite warming temperatures, winds have decreased significantly since Monday, when gusts up to 70 miles per hour created explosive growth in the fire.

So far, no structures have been damaged except for 54 power poles. No power was lost to the towns of Rangely or Dinosaur, and Moon Lake Electric was able to cut power to the lines for the safety of firefighters.

Rio Blanco County Road 1 and County Road 64 remain closed, as well as their corresponding access points in Moffat County.

Last week’s Cross Fire about 35 miles west of Craig is still being monitored, but has not been active in several days despite the strong winds, said BLM spokesperson David Boyd in an email. No containment estimate is available.