Cabin Lake Fire grows to 5,188 acres, new closures in place

As of Thursday, Aug. 16

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Quick Facts

  • Fire size: 5,188 acres and 29 percent contained
  • Structures lost or damaged: 0
  • Location: 16 miles southeast of Meeker
  • Start date July 29, 2018
  • Cause unknown
  • Total personnel: 326

The Forest Service has expanded the closure around the Cabin Lake Fire due to current and predicted fire behavior. Recent fire movement to the east and extreme fire behavior has led to the decision to expand the closure area. Prolonged hot, dry conditions and heavy fuels have made control of the fire very difficult and the Forest Service is concerned about public safety within these backcountry areas. Rapid notification and evacuation from this area, given current and predicted fire spread, would be almost impossible. The Forest Service and the Southern Area Incident Management Gold Team are monitoring the fire every day. As soon as conditions and control of the fire allow for the public to safely enter the area, the Forest Service will reduce or lift the closure. There is still access to the Flattops Wilderness at other trailhead portals as long as people stay out of the designated closure area. Please plan your trip accordingly. For more information, please visit

Previous operational period: The Cabin Lake Fire continued to be active and spread toward the southeast while also progressing north through Smith Gulch.  Containment lines were constructed along Smith Gulch towards CR 10 and contingency lines with the assistance of the Structure Protection Group.  The spot fires across CR 10 and South Fork White River were contained and mop-up operations were conducted to ensure minimal heat was found in the area. VLAT’s (Very Large Air Tankers), single engine air tankers, and helicopters were used to reduce fire spread throughout the day.

Planned action: Crews continue full suppression efforts to minimize fire spread and put out spot fires outside existing containment lines. The Structure Protection Group will conduct assessments and protection in the vicinity of Bucks and Bulls Ranch, South Fork White River Valley and along County Road 17 and County Road 10. Predicted erratic winds will continue to dictate air operations. Helicopters and single engine air tankers, shared with nearby fires in the region, are coordinating with ground crews to drop water and retardant as they become available.

Smoke impacts: Colder temperatures overnight resulted in smoke settling in the White River Valley. For air quality and health advisory information, please visit

Fire weather: High-pressure systems in the southwest will continue to supply the fire area with erratic northwest and gusty outflow winds. Relative humidity minimums will be in the upper teens with a Haines Index of 6.

Restrictions and Closures

  • New US Forest Service White River National Forest and Bureau of Land Management closures are in effect.  Check White River National Forest’s website for updates
  • The Buford New Castle Road remains closed at the intersection of County Road 10 and County Road 17 and south to the turnoff to the Meadow Lake Campground (Forest Service Road 601).
  • County Road 10 is open to residents only between the intersection of County Road 10 and County Road 17.
  • An emergency area closure remains in place on the Blanco Ranger District of the White River National Forest— All trailheads and campgrounds in the South Fork White River drainage are closed.
  • A temporary flight restriction remains in effect