Beaver Creek Fire Expands to 7,000 Acres, One Firefighter Injured
One minor firefighter injury was reported as winds pushed the Beaver Creek Fire to the east Wednesday across the Routt National Forest, Kremmling Bureau of Land Management lands and some private property.
The fire now stands at 7,000 acres in size and is well-established at the top of Independence Mountain, according to a Wednesday evening InciWeb update.
A U.S. Forest Service news release says the growing complexity of the fire means it is now classified as a Type II, an escalation from a Type III. The Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team Blue will assume control of the fire at 6 a.m. Thursday.
The injured firefighter was cut by a saw and received stitches, according to the Forest Service.
Flames now threaten about 40 structures. Mandatory evacuations ordered Tuesday remain in place.
Over 120 people are currently assigned to the fire. Additional personnel continue to arrive.
Fire management resources currently on scene include two Jackson County bulldozers; four helicopters; four strike teams of engines including one local team; three hand crews including one local crew; and various others from local and cooperating agencies. More resources are expected to arrive in the coming days.
Fire crews continue night operations focused on structure protection. Crews expect the fire to remain active throughout Wednesday night with behavior similar to that exhibited Tuesday night.
Thursday's forecast calls for a temperature of 80 degrees with light winds from the west/southwest at 10 mph and a 40 percent chance of afternoon thunderstorms.
Area closures include Big Creek Lakes Recreation Area including both upper and lower Big Creek Lake, Forest Road 600, east of the Mount Zirkel Wilderness boundary and south of Forest Road 681 and south of Forest Road 80.
The fire continues to burn in heavy timber, both live and dead, as well as some grass and sage brush. The blaze is located roughly 15 miles northwest of Walden, Colo., about two miles south of the Wyoming/Colorado state line.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation. The Forest Service asks anyone with information about suspicious activity this past weekend in the Twisty Park area to call Forest Service Officer Hannah Nadeau at 307-343-2335.