Cool and rainy weather continued to bolster efforts to contain wildfires burning across the state Sunday, but the reprieve is expected to be brief.
Warmer temperatures are expected to dry out many fire areas as the week wears on, and fire crews are preparing for an increase in fire activity as the state dries out.
The 3,775-acre, 6 square-mile Sylvan fire was about 10% contained Sunday, and firefighters welcomed rainy weather that tempered the blaze, according to an update from the U.S. Forest Service.
“The wet weather brings plusses and minuses for firefighters,” the update read. “They can make good progress on building firelines when fire behavior is subdued, but the wet, slippery conditions make the work more difficult and increase safety concerns for driving and foot travel.”
No firefighters have been injured, the update noted.
The wet weather is expected to continue through Sunday, and then the area will begin to dry out and warm up, likely increasing fire activity later in the week, fire officials said.
The Sylvan fire is burning about 15 miles south of Eagle, near Sylvan State Park. The fire started June 20, and the cause of the blaze is under investigation. About 320 people are working to contain the fire.
Oil Springs fire
Saturday brought firefighters a slight reprieve as they work to contain the 12,707-acre, 20 square-mile Oil Springs fire, which is burning about 20 miles south of Rangely on Colorado’s western border with Utah.
Wet weather on Saturday helped to slow the fire’s growth, but Sunday marked the start of a warming and drying trend that is expected to bolster fire activity in the coming days, according to an update from the Bureau of Land Management.
During the next two days, firefighters will work to continue to build fire lines as they brace for moderate fire activity, with running, torching and spotting expected.
The fire has not prompted an evacuations. About 300 people are working to contain the blaze, which was 11% contained Sunday. The fire was started by lightning on June 18.
Muddy Slide fire
Scattered rain showers over the Muddy Slide fire kept the 4,150-acre, 6.5 square-mile blaze from growing much Saturday, but firefighters expect the fire to pick back up as the weather warms, according to a Sunday update from the U.S. Forest Service.
Because the fire is burning in steep, inaccessible terrain in Routt County about 18 miles west of Kremmling, fire officials expect the blaze to be a “long duration fire,” the update said. Even amid the rain Saturday, the fire continued to smolder and creep, fueled by dead logs and beetle-killed trees.
Firefighters on Sunday planned to build indirect fire lines and prepare for controlled burns later this week aimed at removing vegetation and slowing the fire’s spread to the north.
Mandatory evacuations are still in place for residents along County Road 16 between mile markers 12 and 21. An evacuation center is open at Soroco High School in Oak Creek.
About 242 firefighters are working on the fire, which started June 20. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
The West fire did not grow Saturday and was 98% contained Sunday after burning 3,424 acres, or about 5 square miles, according to an update from the Bureau of Land Management.
The lightning-caused fire is burning about 80 miles northwest of Craig, both in Colorado and just over the border into Wyoming. It started June 20.
Firefighters were aided by rainy weather Friday and Saturday, and expect the fire will continue to smolder and produce smoke Sunday.
Click markers for details, use buttons to change what wildfires are shown. Map data is automatically updated by government agencies and could lag real-time events. Incident types are numbered 1-5 — a type 1 incident is a large, complex wildfire affecting people and critical infrastructure, a type 5 incident is a small wildfire with few personnel involved. Find more information about incident types at the bottom of this page.
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