MOFFAT COUNTY, Colo. — Multiple agencies have been called to battle a growing wildland fire that started burning south of Craig off Colorado Highway 13 on Tuesday afternoon.
According to a Facebook post from the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO), the Bureau of Land Management and Craig Fire Rescue have been called to assist in suppressing the fire which has already grown to more than 1,000 acres. These efforts have been hampered by hot temperatures and windy conditions, as well as the difficult terrain of the area. As of 4 p.m., there was zero containment on the fire, according to the sheriff's office.
The ColoWyo coal mine has been evacuated due to the fire, according to the sheriff's office. According to the mine's website, 200 people work there.
The fire has burned multiple powerline poles and has threatened structures at nearby ranches, according to MCSO.
Highway 13 was closed between Meeker and Craig for several hours Tuesday due to the fire, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). The highway has since reopened with alternating lanes. Travel is discouraged in the area.
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The fire is burning off milepost 62, which is roughly halfway between Meeker and Craig. CDOT categorized the blaze as a “fire on the road side.”
According to the Rocky Mountain Area Coordination Center, the fire has burned 1,088 acres. Initial reports said it was just 25 acres.
Firefighters have not said if any structures are threatened.
Firefighters also didn't give any indication about how the blaze may have started.
It was around 90 degrees in Meeker by midday on Tuesday, and hot and dry conditions are expected to persist throughout Colorado for the foreseeable future, prompting many communities to issue red flag warnings.
Craig is located about an hour west of Steamboat Springs and 200 driving miles northwest of Denver.
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