Himes Peak Fire burns in the Flat Tops Wilderness

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WHITE RIVER NATIONAL FOREST – September 7, 2017 – The Himes Peak Fire is burning in grass, aspen and heavy dead timber in the Flat Tops Wilderness, approximately 46 miles east of Meeker. It is largely within the perimeter of the 2002 Big Fish Fire which burned near Trappers Lake.

The fire was started by a lightning strike on Friday, September 1. Crews responded to smoke reports in the area that day, but haze from numerous wildfires in the western U.S. limited visibility and they did not find a fire.

Wednesday, the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit (UCR) responded to reports of an emerging wildfire at the base of Himes Peak. Because wildfire activity is extremely high throughout the western U.S., UCR is using a suppression strategy to limit the fire’s spread rather than allowing it to take its natural course. Crews’ efforts to engage the fire on the ground have been hampered by dense patches of standing dead ‘snags’ and fallen trees in the burn area that threaten firefighter safety and egress.

Several engine crews worked to contain the fire on the ground, supported by a helicopter and an air tanker dropping water and retardant. Seven smokejumpers and a 20 person hand crew arrived to assist firefighters late in the afternoon. Additional resources have been ordered.

Until further notice, all Trappers Lake and Himes Peak campgrounds will be closed for public safety. No traffic will be permitted on Trappers Lake Road (Forest Road 205) from its junction at Rio Blanco CR 8 to Trappers Lake Lodge. Updates will be posted on Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5599/.

Cause: lightning
Size: approximately 200 acres