SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– Firefighters gained the upper hand on the Straight Creek fire Friday. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. It was spotted late Thursday, in drainage several miles west of the Eisenhower Tunnel. Less than 24-hours after it began, the fire was just 8 acres, and 30% contained.

Straight Creek Fire

(credit: U.S. Forest Service)

“This fire had the potential to significantly grow today,” said Dillon District Ranger Adam Bianchi. “The aggressive responsive coordinated among federal, state and local resources kept it small.”

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Two heavy helicopters and one light one spent the day dousing the fire using water from the Dillon Reservoir. Later in the day, two hotshot crews arrived to work from the ground, building containment lines.

Standing dead trees, a result of beetle kill, posed a challenge for crews on the ground in addition to fuel for the fire, but by 6 p.m. Friday, the fire was moving slowly.

With more dry weather on the way, nearby towns aren’t taking any chances. On Friday, Silverthorne Dillon and the Town of Frisco, implemented immediate stage one fire restrictions.

“Frisco, Dillon, and Silverthorne are all located in the I-70 corridor where significant fire activity has been seen over the past 24 hours. We believe that it is vital to the health and safety of our community that we take a conservative approach and act now before we see more wildfire activity,” stated Frisco Mayor Hunter Mortensen.

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Under Stage One fire restrictions, the following is prohibited:
1. Open Fires
2. Smoking
3. Fireworks
4. Explosives
5. Disposal: Disposal of any burning object outdoors, including without limitation, any cigarette, cigar, or match.
6. Chainsaws

The Forest Service has issued a closure for the area northeast of the fire for firefighter and public safety. The closure includes Straight Creek Trail and Tenderfoot trail system. The latest information on the Straight Creek Fire, including area closures, is available at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7525/.

The public fire information line is 970 468-5400.

“We are early in the fire season, and conditions will be getting warmer and drier,” Bianchi said. “We really need people to continue to be diligent.”

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The Forest Service says crews will be working on containment efforts over the weekend. While one EB lane of I-70 is closed, traffic should be largely unaffected. 

Jamie Leary