Smoke visible from Northwest Colorado fires | SteamboatToday.com

Smoke visible from Northwest Colorado fires

With red flag warnings and recent wildfires in Northwest Colorado, the fire danger in Routt County stands at moderate.

With the correct winds, smoke from fires in the region could drift to Routt County.

The fires were started by lightning.

The Hunter Fire 20 miles of southwest of Meeker was reported Saturday and has burned 1,000 acres. It was 15 percent contained as of Monday afternoon.

The Dead Dog Fire reported Sunday 10 miles north of Rangely blew up to 2,000 acres Monday.

Officials closed U.S. Highway 40 between Dinosaur and Skull Creek in western Moffat County near the Utah border shortly after 3 p.m. Monday.

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Beginning in May, firefighters in Routt County began responding to wildfires.

West Routt Fire Protection District firefighters responded to controlled burns that got out of control.

"We just urge everyone to be very careful with their open burning," firefighter Trevor Guire said.

People should contact the department if they plan on doing open burns.

Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue firefighters responded to a fire that started while a man was burning in a drum.

Open burning season has ended in the Steamboat area.

The National Interagency Fire Center has predicted below normal wildland fire potential for the Steamboat zone in June and July.

"Above normal precipitation and soil moisture is leading to a robust green-up across the West," the center wrote in a report.

Steamboat Deputy Fire Chief Chuck Cerasoli said conditions can change quickly.

"As of right now, things are still good and looking OK," Cerasoli said.

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