Cabin Lake Fire Update

As of Tuesday, Aug. 14

A handcrew works hard to dig direct fire line along the fire’s edge, removing vegetation in front of the oncoming fire by scraping and clearing the area down to bare mineral soil. FOREST SERVICE PHOTO
Listen to this post

Cabin Lake fire grows yesterday and overnight; weather and fuel conditions continue to be a factor

Fire: Cabin Lake Fire

Containment: 35 percent
Acres: estimated 3,000 Start Date: July 29
Cause: Unknown Location: approx. 5.5 miles south of Buford and approx. 7 miles NW of Meadow Lake Campground
Total Personnel: 316 Fuels/Topography: heavy timber/aspen

Update: The fire was active yesterday afternoon and into the evening growing to the northeast, east and substantially to the south. Due to the exponential fire growth over the past two days, containment on the fire decreased to 35 percent. Yesterday late in the afternoon, a red flag warning was issued with high potential for extreme fire behavior and an estimated 25-45 mph wind gusts over the fire area. Weather, coupled with fire activity and the dry, heavy fuel conditions resulted in the need for firefighters to reassess tactics on some locations of the fire.

Today, multiple crews, including two hotshot crews, along with heavy machinery, will use a combination of direct and indirect suppression tactics to build, secure and hold the northern perimeter of the fire which is threatening structures. Fire crews will work in close coordination with air support to check fire spread.

Crews and multiple engines are being deployed south along the eastern fire perimeter through the South Fork drainage to evaluate potential locations to engage the fire directly. Terrain in this drainage is steep, rugged with heavy dead and downed fuels. Suppression efforts will be implemented in areas where firefighters can safely engage using the appropriate tactics. Public and firefighter safety and structure protection remain top priorities on the Cabin Lake Fire.

Engines and crews continue to focus on structure protection efforts throughout the fire area, prepping structures and placing sprinklers and hose lays where appropriate. Night operations will continue tonight with engines and firefighters patrolling and protecting structures throughout the fire area. Structures remain threatened, but no structures have been lost.

Air Resources such as Single Engine Air Tankers, Large Air Tankers, a Type 1 Helicopter, a Type 3 Helicopter and two National Guard Helicopters will be used throughout the day to drop water and retardant to check and slow fire spread.

The fire is expected to be active throughout the afternoon and into the evening. Smoke is expected to be visible from Buford, Meeker, New Castle and Rifle, Colo. Gusty/erratic outflow winds are possible this afternoon and evening.

Due to increased complexity and size, a Type 2 Incident Management Team will assume command of the fire at 6:00 a.m. tomorrow morning. The Type 2 Incident Management Team will augment the existing incident command structure, adding specialized skills, expertise, and overhead capacity to the management of the fire to support the crews on the ground.

Evacuations: Evacuations remain in effect for the area south of South Fork Road toward Burro Mountain, southwest of County Road 10. The pre-evacuation warning for County Road 17 and for all residents along County Road 10 south from the County Road 17 and County Road 10 intersection remains effect.

For evacuation information please call the Rio Blanco Sheriff’s Dispatch Center at 970-878-9600.

Sign up for Rio Blanco Alerts to be contacted with evacuation information here:

Follow Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Facebook& App:

Road Closures: The Buford New Castle Road remains closed at the County Road 10 and County Road 17 intersection and south to the Meadow Lake Campground Turnoff (Forest Road 601). There is a public closure of County Road 10 (residents only) starting at the intersection of County Road 10 and County Road 17.

Smoke: Smoke is visible from Buford, Meeker, Rifle and New Castle CO. For more information on how wood smoke may affect your health please visit: .

No Fly Zone: Aerial operations are ongoing. Please refrain from flying drones in the area. Remember, if you fly, we can’t.

Forest Closure: An emergency area closure remains in place on the Blanco Ranger District of the White River National Forest for the Cabin Lake Fire. Please visit here for more information: . All trailheads and campgrounds in the South Fork drainage are now closed.

Fire Information:

Rio Blanco Sheriff’s Office: 970-878-9600

Blanco Ranger Station: 970-878-4039

Facebook: and

Evacuation Information:

Inciweb Page: