The Saratoga Sun -

Beaver Creek fire smokes Valley


Courtesy USFS

Flames from the Beaver Creek Fire in Northern Colorado brought smoke to the Platte Valley Sunday.

The Beaver Creek Fire, reported on June 19, has grown to approximately 500 acres on the Routt National Forest as of June 20, and management of the fire transitioned to a Type III incident management team on Monday.

This fire is responsible for the heavy smoke seen in the Platte Valley beginning Sunday.

Additional resources have been ordered to help deal with the wildfire in northwest Jackson County, Colo., which is burning in heavy timber with a high percentage of beetle kill, said a press release from the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

The fire is located approximately 20 miles northwest of Walden, Colo., three miles south of the Colorado/Wyoming state line, and in the Twisty Park area, between Beaver Creek and Rhea Creek. According to Aaron Voos, USFS Public Affairs Specialist, the fire was growing Northeast toward the Wyoming-Colorado border as of Monday.

There are 30 private and recreation residences/structures within a mile and a half of the fire, and residents are under pre-evacuation notice from the Jackson County Sheriff's Department. Those structures are mainly along the 600 Road, which runs southwest from the community of Pearl to Big Creek Lakes Campground.

Fuels reduction, prescribed fire, and wildland-urban interface projects by private landowners and the U.S. Forest Service were focused on those residences/structures in recent years.

Concerned cabin owners or local residents should contact the Jackson County Sheriff's Department at 970-723-4242.

Initial response to the fire included USFS and county engines from Colorado. Staffing of the fire was over 20 people on Monday, plus multiple engines, three helicopters, and two dozers. That number is expected to grow in the coming days.

The cause of the Beaver Creek Fire is under investigation, and law enforcement located a vehicle of interest on Monday. Anyone with additional information on suspicious activity this past weekend in the Twisty Park area should contact USFS Officer Hannah Nadeau, 307-343-2335.

Notable closures in the area due to the fire include Big Creek Lakes Campground, Beaver Creek and Seven Lakes Trailheads, as well as Forest Roads 80 (Hog Park Road), 600, 681, and 689.

Firefighter and public safety are the highest priority in the incident. Crews focused on assessment, aerial water drops, mechanized fire line construction, and structure protection during Monday's operation.

Official information on the fire is being disseminated via Inciweb,

Information will also be posted on Twitter at: @FS_MBRTB, hashtag #BeaverCreekFire.


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