Colorado wildfires: What to know Thursday, September 10

A red sunrise as seen from the Grizzly Creek Fire incident command post Thursday morning. / Photo courtesy Grizzly Creek Fire Information

A red sunrise as seen from the Grizzly Creek Fire incident command post Thursday morning. / Photo courtesy Grizzly Creek Fire Information

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — This week’s rain and snow have helped cool down fires burning across Colorado. Here’s the latest information as of Thursday.

Cameron Peak Fire

The Cameron Peak Fire in the mountains west of Fort Collins has burned 102,596 acres, making it the fifth-largest wildfire in Colorado history. It is 4% contained.

On Wednesday, crews were able to mop up hot spots near structures in the fire area. Crews are having trouble accessing some of the burned area due to downed trees, rocks and debris, and downed power lines blocking the roadway.

Crews said they expect to see smoldering in the fire area Thursday.

“Much of the ground in the fire area remains wet from the recent snow, so we expect fire behavior to be at a minimum today, but we are starting to find some of those hot spots that are smoldering along the fire’s edge, and we will continue to mop up and extinguish those as we can,” fire operations section trainee Troy Mueller said in Thursday morning’s update.

A total of 1,200 people are fighting the fire, which has been burning since August 13. There’s no word yet on the cause.

Middle Fork Fire

The Middle Fork Fire was first reported Sunday. It is burning along the Middle Fork of Mad Creek in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness, about 10 miles north of Steamboat Springs.

Weather Thursday is expected to remain cool, with highs in the 40s and scattered showers around the fire area, and the chance for rain/snow increasing this afternoon and tonight.

The fire was estimated at about 3,522 acres Monday evening. Due to winter weather and cloud cover, no more recent size estimates are available.

A total of 40 people are fighting the fire. Investigators have determined it was caused by lightning.

Pine Gulch Fire

The Pine Gulch Fire burning north of Grand Junction is 95% contained as of Thursday morning. A total of 269 people are fighting the fire.

Another 0.1 inches of rain fell on the fire Wednesday, making total rainfall since Tuesday about one inch. Wet weather has increased confidence in fire containment and management, so many firefighters and pieces of firefighting equipment have been released from the fire.

The lightning-caused fire has burned 139,007 acres, making it the largest wildfire in Colorado history. It started on July 31.

Grizzly Creek Fire

The Grizzly Creek Fire near Glenwood Springs is holding steady at 32,464 acres, with 91% containment as of Wednesday. The fire has not grown in 11 days.

Tuesday’s moisture helped further moderate fire behavior. 

A total of 270 people are fighting the fire, which started August 10.

Investigators believe the fire was human-caused. The investigation into the specific cause is continuing.

Williams Fork Fire

The Williams Fork Fire in Grand County is at 12,157 acres, with 10% containment as of Wednesday evening.

Cooler temperatures and snow from the passing cold front have cooled fuels in the fire area, resulting in minimal fire behavior.  Continued snow and cold will reduce the chance for growth of the fire through the weekend.

The fire started August 14 and is believed to be human-caused. A total of 9 people are fighting the fire.

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