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MEEKER | In a press release issued at 10 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 8 from the Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit, firefighters continue to manage the Hunt Fire on Bureau of Land Management land about 26 miles southwest of Meeker in Rio Blanco County. The Hunt Fire continued steady growth yesterday, and is now estimated to be 2,300 acres. Lightning ignited the fire on Thursday, Sept. 5. It is remotely located, burning in thick brush on ridges and valleys north of the Roan Plateau.
Hot, dry, weather with light winds contributed to the fire’s growth yesterday, with smoke impacts noticeable in Glenwood Springs and other communities to the east of the fire. Today’s weather is expected to be somewhat cooler, with partly cloudy skies, high temperatures in the mid-70’s, and 5 to 10 mph winds out of the southwest.
Yesterday firefighters focused on protecting values at risk, including several isolated historic cabins and oil and gas facilities. In managing the fire for resource benefits, crews will work to keep the fire north of the Rio Blanco County line, south of an oil pipeline that is north of the fire, east of Hunter Creek and west of West Willow Creek.
Within its approximate 2,300-acre perimeter, the Hunt Fire is burning in a patchy mosaic, consuming fuels in its path, while leaving areas of unburned fuels. The fire’s removal of heavy dead, down trees and thick brush will open up the landscape and allow for new vegetative growth. This is expected to improve habitat for big game and other wildlife species, as well as provide for better livestock distribution in grazing allotments.
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 County line, east of Hunter Creek Road, west of Willow Creek Road, and extending north to County Road 5. This includes Big Jimmy Gulch.
Two heavy helicopters are working the fire, along with two hand crews and several engines from BLM and local cooperators. Additional resources continue to arrive.
For the latest information about the Hunt Fire, visit the Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Facebook Page, @RioBlancoCountySheriffsOffice.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated to reflect a correction made in the press release.