KREMMLING, Colo. (CBS4)– The Deep Creek Fire, burning near a subdivision north of Kremmling, grew to 80 acres Thursday with zero containment, and officials have determined it was human caused. The details are still under investigation.
“Summit County is still in Stage One fire restrictions, so no fires while you’re out camping, unless you’re at a forest service designated camp spot with an established metal ring,” Said Justin Conrad, Fire Management Officer for the Dillon Ranger District.
The fire was reported just after 4 p.m. Wednesday. While officials haven’t determined if it was a campfire that started it, Conrad says the origin was a dispersed campsite, on Forest Service land.
The homes threatened are located in the Spring Creek subdivision and consist of mostly vacation homes. As of late Thursday evening, no structures were lost.
Summit County Fire and EMS along with assistance from Grand County, worked well into the night Wednesday to contain the blaze. On Thursday morning, a type three incident management team took over.
“Currently, it’s as dry as it’s ever been this time of year,” said Conrad.
Conrad and his team take weekly measurements to determine how much moisture is in the area, by burning fuels, similar to the ones in the Deep Creek fire.
“We take samples of fuels that are out on the ground. and we weigh them we cook them, and then we re-weigh them. and that will show how much moisture is in some of these fuels.”
The moisture levels are at record lows, which creates a dangerous environment for fire fighters on the ground.
“There’s a lot of dead and downed fuels from the lodge pole pine from the bark beetle outbreak, and there’s spruce fir that’s in there. Aspen stands are also being burned up right now- Aspens as well as the spruce fir have a really shallow root base… they fall over really easy the trees so it’s just not safe to have people in there at night,” he said.
Fire behavior Thursday was fueled mostly by winds but remained moderate, and Conrad said crews were making progress with hand-lines as well as water drops from above.
“It’s smoldering and creeping along. No big runs. No trees have been torching so far today.”
The Blue Valley Acres Subdivision, on the Grand County side, is on pre-evacuation notice. Conrad pointed out, the fire would have to make a run in steep terrain and jump the Blue River to reach the area.
With the resources allocated to the fire Thursday and cooler weather expected for the weekend, officials were optimistic they would get a handle on it.
“We’ve got a lot of aviation on it right now and ground resources are continuing to show up throughout the day,” said Conrad.