UPDATE: BLM lifts Hunt Fire closure

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MEEKER | Fire crews completed burnout operations Saturday within the northwest corner of the containment area – west of Big Jimmy Road and south of the gas pipeline. The Hunt Fire has grown to an estimated 3,766 acres as a result of firing operations, and containment is holding at 40%.

The Bureau of Land Management has rescinded its area closure. Fire behavior within the burn perimeter has subsided sufficiently to allow public access, but visitors should be aware that there will still be firefighters working in the area. Hot spots continue to smolder, and flare-ups within the burn can be expected for the next several days, especially during hot, dry or windy conditions.

The Hunt Fire was transferred from a Type 3 organization to Type 4 local resources from the White River Field Office this morning. Incident Commander Joel Hendrickson will oversee four engine crews as they monitor fire activity and ensure the fire stays within its established perimeter.

Weather over the fire today is expected to be mostly sunny in the morning with increasing clouds in the afternoon, calling for a high of 81F, and light winds of 8–12 miles per hour gusting to 20 mph. Monday and Tuesday are expected to be slightly cooler and cloudier, with potential for scattered showers and thunderstorms.

Managers of the White River Field Office are pleased with the patchy, mosaic outcome of the Hunt Fire. The introduction of fire to the mature age-class monoculture that exists in the area will rejuvenate the ecosystem and provide diversity on the landscape that benefits wildlife, livestock, and people alike for decades to come.

Lightning ignited the Hunt Fire on BLM land in Rio Blanco County on Thursday, Sept. 5. It is remotely located, burning in thick brush on ridges and valleys north of the Roan Plateau.

This will be the last update for the Hunt Fire, unless significant change occurs. For the latest information, contact the White River Field Office at 970-878-3800 or visit the Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Facebook Page, @RioBlancoCountySheriffsOffice, or on Inciweb at: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6583/