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MEEKER | Firefighters from the Northwest Colorado Interagency Fire Management Unit continue to manage the Hunt Fire on Bureau of Land Management land about 26 miles southwest of Meeker in Rio Blanco County. Lightning ignited the fire on Thursday, September 5. It is remotely located, burning in thick brush on ridges and valleys north of the Roan Plateau.
Fire behavior was minimal yesterday morning, following rains overnight on Sunday. Mostly sunny skies dried out fuels, resulting in increased fire activity through the day. The Hunt Fire is still approximately 2,578 acres; an update on acreage is expected later today following a scheduled fly-over by the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control’s Multi-mission Aircraft. Today’s weather is expected to be partly cloudy and cooler, with high temperatures in the 70’s, and light winds increasing to 20 mph in the afternoon. Afternoon showers and thunderstorms are possible.
Firefighters continue to focus on protecting values at risk, including several isolated historic cabins and dispersed oil and gas facilities. With favorable weather, crews may conduct burnout operations on the fire today. Fire managers’ objective is to keep the fire north of the Rio Blanco/Garfield County line, south of a gas pipeline that is located north of the fire, east of Hunter Creek and west of West Willow Creek.
Callie Hendrickson, executive director of the White River and Douglas Creek Conservation Districts said “thank you” to the BLM for deciding to manage the Hunt Fire for resource benefits.
“Fire is an effective tool that has many benefits on the land. It creates fuel breaks that help slow the progress of future fires, stimulates new growth in mature, overgrown stands; and promotes watershed health and productive rangelands, while improving wildlife habitat,” Hendrickson said. The Conservation District, in concert with Rio Blanco County and with community input, completed a Land and Resources Plan and Policies document in 2016 that supports use of fire on federal lands in the area. The Plan, and more information about the Conservation District can be found at: http://www.whiterivercd.com/
An area closure (Closure Order #CONOS000-19-01) is in effect to provide for firefighter and public safety in the area around the wildfire. The area closure includes public lands and routes within an area north of Rio Blanco/Garfield County line, east of Hunter Creek Road, west of West Willow Creek Road, and extending north to County Road 5. This includes Big Jimmy Gulch.
A total of 105 personnel are assigned to the fire, including two helicopters (one Type 1 and one Type 2), a helitack crew, two hand crews, two modules, six engines from BLM and local cooperators, and a water tender. For the latest information about the Hunt Fire, visit the Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Facebook Page, @RioBlancoCountySheriffsOffice, or on Inciweb at: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6583/