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Iron Fire in NW Colorado more than 30% contained

Iron Fire in NW Colorado more than 30% contained
Iron Fire in NW Colorado more than 30% contained 00:21

Fire officials issued an update on Sunday afternoon about the Iron Fire, announcing that it is more than 30% contained. 

Before the update, the wind-driver brush fire had grown to 7,361 acres in size less than a day after it ignited in northwestern Colorado. 

Red Flag weather conditions contributed to the fire's rapid spread through open-range grass and sage overnight, according to a Bureau of Land Management spokesman, Patrick Kieran. A steady 25 mph wind and low relative humidity pushed the blaze toward the northeast. 

Shara Cole

Local, state, and federal fire crews have converged on the Iron Fire ( so named after the inactive Iron Springs Mine located near its point of origin) since its start. A Northwest Interagency Type III team made up of BLM crews, Moffat County road graders and bulldozers, and local fire crews and engines is currently working toward building a line around and containing the fire. 

"This is a 100% suppression fire," Kieran said. "The goal is to line this fire up to 100% using existing roads, trails and the dozer line."  

Shara Cole

That approach differs from the tact often taken in difficult mountainous terrain in which firefighters have little hope of safely building line by hand. If there is little danger to homes and private land, fire crews will pull back and monitor a wildfire's progress, actively fighting it only to minimally influence it and allowing it to burn out on its own.

Kieran said the Iron Fire crews will instead work until Iron Fire is completely extinguished. 

Here are a few pictures from the Iron Fire today.

Posted by Craig Fire/Rescue on Friday, September 29, 2023

At this time, no primary structures (homes) or even secondary structures (barns, sheds) have been reported lost, Kieran said. Only a corral, fencing and some power poles have burned. Power went out last night when those poles burned and fell down, but Yampa Valley Electric has already replaced the poles and power is back on, Kieran said.

No injuries have been reported, either. However, there are a few structures in the path of the fire that are threatened.

Craig Fire Rescue/Facebook

There is a substantial air attack in progress, Kieran added. Several SEATs (single-engine air tankers), a heavy tanker, and helicopters are actively working under the guidance of another aircraft solely acting as a airborne control tower. The state's MMA aircraft flew overhead this morning to take infrared images and map the fire.   

Craig Fire Rescue/Facebook

The fire started near the intersection of Moffat County Roads 17 and 5, about 18 miles northwest of Craig, mid-day Friday. There are 20 miles of county roads in the area which are closed to the public for the benefit of fire crews. 

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