Colorado wildfire update: Lake Christine fire roars; new fire sparks in Routt National Forest

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Mostly sunny, warmer weather stoked some wildfires in Colorado the past couple of days, with the Lake Christine fire, outside of Basalt, roaring back to life, flashing flames through conifer trees and belching more smoke than earlier this week.

In the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado, where the 416 fire is burning, monsoon moisture on Friday is expected to bring afternoon showers and thunderstorms, according to the National Weather Service. Flash flooding will be possible in drainage basins near recent fires and burn scars.

LAKE CHRISTINE FIRE

The fire grew by 773 acres in hot, dry weather Wednesday, totaling more than 7,700 acres since starting July 3, according to the Aspen Times.

Increased fire activity Thursday threw off huge plumes of smoke in the area, and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment issued an air quality health advisory through 9 a.m. Friday for southwest Eagle County, including Basalt and El Jebel.

Craig Hot Shots built fire lines on the north flank of the fire Thursday, supported by aircraft and helicopters making water and fire retardant drops.

After being downgraded to a type 3 team fire Monday, federal officials plan to bring back a type 2 incident management team Friday morning because of the increased activity, the Times reported.

On Thursday evening, a pre-evacuation notice was posted for residents of Cedar Drive, Toner Creek, Seven Castles and Taylor Road because of increased fire behavior on the eastern flank of the fire. The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office contacted residents in the areas, who were warned to be prepared to leave their homes in a moment’s notice.

BADGER CREEK FIRE

Burning two miles northwest of Mountain Home, Wyo., just over the Colorado state line, the fire command was transferred Thursday to a smaller Type 4 organization, fire officials said.

On Wednesday, dry and windy conditions produced visible smoke, but fire behavior was minimal. Firefighters continue to suppress hot spots that have the potential to threaten containment lines and structures.

The long-burning fire started June 10, and the cause remains under investigation. The fire has burned more than 21,000 acres in the Medicine Bow National Forest, and it was 93 percent contained Thursday night.

SILVER CREEK FIRE

A new wildfire started Thursday in the Routt National Forest near the peak of Gore Mountain, northwest of Kremmling. The remote fire was about 10 acres Thursday night, burning through thick, dead and downed lodgepole pine, spruce and fir, according to forest officials.

No firefighting resources were on scene Thursday night. A red flag fire warning was posted for the area Thursday, through 8 p.m., and stage one fire restrictions were in effect for the national forest.


Wildfires in Colorado and the U.S.

The map shows active wildfire locations and all 2018 fire perimeters*. The map defaults to Colorado; to see all wildfires, click “U.S.” in the view area. Click the map layers icon in the top right corner of the map to change map backgrounds and to toggle active and contained fires, and perimeters. Click a marker or perimeter for details. To view the full map and a table of all 2018 wildfires, click here.

*Data comes from two sources, GeoMAC and InciWeb, and could contain inconsistencies. Map by Kevin Hamm and Daniel J. Schneider.