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MEEKER I The Milk Creek Fire, burning 15 miles northeast of Meeker and 3.5 miles east of Yellow Jacket Pass, has grown very little and moved quite slowly for having been burning since July 4, said Ken Coffin, the district ranger for the Blanco Ranger District of the White River National Forest.
Coffin said on July 10 that the fire was approximately five acres and burning slowly in an aspen/conifer stand and that officials are managing the fire to reduce dead and down vegetation and to improve overall forest health.
He said some growth was expected to occur in patches of the sub-alpine fir that is surrounded by aspen and is serving as a natural barrier.
“The Milk Creek fire … remains at approximately 112 acres,” Coffin said. “You’ll see in the photo that when the fire reached the aspen and green vegetation outside the sub-alpine fir patches, the fire spread was halted. This is a nice mosaic burn, and I am happy with our results.”
The Milk Creek Fire is south of private land holdings within the boundary of White River National Forest, Coffin said, adding that it is possible that people will occasionally see smoke as the fire consumes the downed woody material and standing trees.
“However, while I am satisfied with the results we have achieved thus far and would honestly like to see a few more black acres, we have started taking actions to control and contain this fire,” he said. “To treat more acres, we would have to let this thing smolder around for the next several weeks, hoping it would survive the monsoon season and then wait for the green vegetation you see in the photo to cure and dry out.
“I just don’t see that we can achieve much more benefit considering the additional cost (in time and money) to do so,” he said.