Six fires and counting; Type 2 team assists with mop-up efforts

RBC Sheriff Photo

RBC | “It’s like a chess game,” said Incident Commander trainee Bob Klages about shuffling resources from fire to fire during an informational meeting Monday at the county’s Piceance Basin road and bridge building. Between Saturday and Monday, four fires had erupted in Rio Blanco County. Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Office, the Northwest Colorado Interagency Fire Management Unit, Meeker Volunteer Fire Department and the Rio Blanco County Road and Bridge department were working together with BLM crews. On Tuesday a Type 2 Incident Management Team set up a command center at Meeker High School and Barone Middle School. The team is from Washington state and will manage the existing fires, as well as any new fires that pop up in the general area around Fawn and Sprague. According to BLM public affairs specialist David Boyd, “An incident management team brings in additional resources, which allow local crews to get some relief and focus on new fires. They are made up of state, local and federal resources. Colorado has two Type 2 incident management teams, but they are all out on fires in the state already. (In other years the Colorado teams have traveled to Washington.) This Washington team was being staged in Loveland because of conditions across the state.”

As of press time Wednesday, there were 6 fires burning in Rio Blanco County. RBC Sheriff reported an additional fire outside of Rangely Thursday.

Slightly cooler weather and an increased chance for precipitation should help the firefighting efforts, but also adds to the risk for lightning-caused fires.

Jim Cook Photo

Ridgetop Fire
Cause: Lightning
Started: July 7
Location: East of Hwy. 13 at MM 27
Size: 144 acres
Containment as of 9 a.m. July 12: 95 percent
No additional growth expected

Kari Brennan Photo

Fawn Fire
Cause: Lightning
Started: July 7
Location: 30 miles SW of Meeker
Size: 1,065 acres
Containment as of 9 a.m. July 12: 90 percent
Est. Containment: July 15

Niki Turner Photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sprague Fire
Cause: Lightning
Started: July 9
Location: 20 miles SW of Meeker
Size: 91 acres
Containment as of 9 a.m. July 12: 50 percent

 

Tiffany Jehorek Photo

Smith Fire
Cause: under investigation
Started: July 9
Location: 8 miles north of Meeker
Size: 76 acres
Containment as of 9 a.m. July 12: 80 percent
No additional growth expected

Douglas Fire
Cause: Lightning
Started: July 10
Location: MM 64.5 on Hwy 139
Size: 1/10th of an acre
Containment as of 9 a.m. July 12: 95 percent

Shave Tail Fire
Cause: Lightning
Started: July 10
Location: Mile Marker 9.5 CR 2
Size: 13 acres
Containment as of 9 a.m. July 12: 95 percent

Hammond Fire
Cause: under investigation
Started: July 11
Location: East Highway 64 outside of Rangely
Size: 5 acres
Containment as of 9 a.m. July 12: None reported

Fire danger remains sky high in spite of recent rainfall. Please use extreme caution.