Red Canyon and Cabin Lake fire updates: Aug. 5

Sunday, Aug. 5

Red Canyon Fire

Fire Size Today: 5,766 acres

Containment: 44%

Firefighters: 469

Location: 31 miles south of Rangely, Colo.

Fire Start Date: 7/29/18

Management: Southwest Area Incident Management Team 5

Fire activity: Wetting rains enabled fire crews to work directly on the fire’s edge yesterday, increasing the percentage of containment. The precipitation, however, halted the planned burnout operations on the northwest corner. Suppression repair work is expected to begin today along the containment lines on the southeast. Mop up operations will widen and strengthen containment lines.  Along the southern flanks, crews will continue building and improving containment lines while a Hotshot crew will concentrate on some technically challenging areas. The steep and rugged western flanks will prohibit crews from safely constructing lines in some sections allowing for monitoring by air and ground resources.

Area Closure: The Bureau of Land Management issued an area closure for the Red Canyon fire area for firefighter and public safety:

  • Northern border: State Highway (SH) 139/County Road (CR) 27 junction to CR27/CR28 junction
  • Eastern closure: CR28/CR257 junction to CR256/CR257 junction
  • Southern closure: CR256/CR257 to SH139
  • Western closure: CR256/SH139 junction to SH139/CR27


Cabin Lake Fire

Fire size today: 1158 acres

Containment: 25%

Firefighters: 173

Location: 5.5 miles south of Buford, Colo., and 7 miles northwest of Meadow Lake Campground

Fire start date: 7/29/2018

Management: Rocky Mountain Type 2 Blue Team

Fire Activity: Additional precipitation fell on the Cabin Lake Fire overnight. This additional moisture will keep fire behavior low once again today. Fire crews will engage the fire where it is safe for them to do so today due to muddy conditions in the fire area.

Yesterday, crews were able to improve fireline around the fire’s perimeter. Minimal fire activity caused the fire to grow less than 100 acres.

Today, firefighters will work to improve lines on the northern side of the fire while other crews will continue to patrol and mop up on the westernmost portion of the fire. Firefighters and heavy equipment will be utilized to begin building indirect fireline along the eastern side of the fire. Indirect fireline, which is a fireline built at a distance away from the fire’s edge, is being constructed due to wet areas along the fire’s eastern perimeter.

At the 6 a.m. morning Operations Briefing, Cabin Lake Operations Branch Director Wayne Ichiyasu reminded crews to “remain safe and only engage the fire where you can. It is going to be muddy and slick out there today. Along with the cooler temperatures, it is important to take care of yourself and each other.”

The day will begin with cloudy skies and a 50 percent chance of storms until mid-morning. Partly cloudy skies and isolated thunderstorms are possible this afternoon. Temperatures will be very similar to yesterday with highs in the low to mid-70s. Winds are forecast to be out of the west-southwest at 15-20mph with peak gusts up to 30mph.

Seven Lakes Lodge and neighboring cabins remain in pre-evacuation status. The Buford/Newcastle Road remains closed at County Road 10 to Forest Service Road 601 (Meadow Lake Campground turnoff).

Area Closure: The Blanco Ranger District of the White River National Forest has an emergency area closure for the Cabin Lake Fire. It may be viewed at The public is asked to stay clear of the area to allow firefighters to safely manage the fire.

Smoke Impacts: Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has issued an air quality health advisory for wildfire smoke across portions of west-central and southwestern Colorado through August 5, 2018, at 9 am.  Visit the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment:

Fire Restrictions:  Stage II Fire Restrictions went into effect Friday, August 3, 2018, on BLM lands in the White River Field Office.  Rio Blanco County implemented similar restrictions.

Be sure to watch our daily video briefings on the Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Office Facebook Page

InciWeb Cabin Lake Fire

InciWeb Red Canyon Fire