Breaking: Massive NW Colorado Inferno Tamed with 30% Containment Success!

Fire officials provided an update on Sunday afternoon regarding the Iron Fire, stating that it has been contained to more than 30%.

Before this update, the wind-driven brush fire had rapidly expanded to 7,361 acres within a day of its ignition in northwestern Colorado.

The fire’s swift spread through open-range grass and sage overnight was due to Red Flag weather conditions, as explained by Bureau of Land Management spokesman Patrick Kieran. A consistent 25 mph wind and low relative humidity pushed the blaze northeastward.

Local, state, and federal fire crews have converged on the Iron Fire, named after the inactive Iron Springs Mine near its point of origin, since it began. A Northwest Interagency Type III team, consisting of BLM crews, Moffat County road graders, bulldozers, and local fire crews and engines, is currently working on constructing a containment line around the fire.

Kieran stated, “This is a 100% suppression fire, with the goal of achieving complete containment using existing roads, trails, and the dozer line.” This approach differs from the strategy often employed in challenging mountainous terrain, where firefighters may not be able to safely build a containment line by hand. In such cases, when there is minimal risk to homes and private land, fire crews may retreat and monitor the wildfire’s progress, intervening minimally and allowing it to burn out naturally.

Kieran emphasized that the Iron Fire crews will work until it is entirely extinguished.

As of now, no primary structures (homes) or secondary structures (barns, sheds) have been reported as lost. Only a corral, fencing, and some power poles have been damaged. Power was disrupted when these poles burned and fell, but Yampa Valley Electric has already replaced them, restoring power.

No injuries have been reported. However, there are some structures in the path of the fire that remain under threat.

Kieran also mentioned a significant air attack in progress, with several SEATs (single-engine air tankers), a heavy tanker, and helicopters actively working under the guidance of another aircraft acting as an airborne control tower. The state’s MMA aircraft flew overhead this morning to capture infrared images and map the fire.

The fire ignited near the intersection of Moffat County Roads 17 and 5, approximately 18 miles northwest of Craig, on Friday mid-day. There are 20 miles of county roads in the area closed to the public to facilitate the work of fire crews.

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