Terrain Satellite
Middle Fork
9.9 mi
SE of Clark, CO
2 weeks
it's burned for
Last Updated:
19 mins, 55 secs ago
Incident #:
Fire Start:
Sunday, September 6, 2020 6:00 AM MDT

Current Weather

Fire Growth Potential

Fire Weather Forecast

Incident Overview Updated: 3 hours, 55 mins ago

Incident Photo for the Middle Fork Fire

Middle Fork Fire Fact Sheet                                                                                                                                   9/25/2020       
Acres: 6,760                                                                                                            Incident Commander: Sean Carey, Type 3 IMT
Fire Information phone line: 970-724-3027                                                   Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7153/

Today’s Situation: A red flag warning is in effect today due to warmer temperatures, lower relative humidity, and strong winds. This will keep firefighters on their toes, watching closely for increased fire behavior, while helicopters remain available for action when needed. Incident managers expect the fire to continue its advance through heavy timber along the fire perimeter to the northwest and to the south. A noticeable smoke column is likely during adverse fire weather. Crews continue preparation activities for structure protection and clearing along trails to improve access and as potential indirect holding and firing opportunities. Firefighters’ objective is for full suppression of the Middle Fork Fire, while maintaining public and firefighter safety as the highest priority.

Weather: Mostly sunny with highs in the 70s. Relative humidity dropping to 13 - 18%. Southwest winds 10 - 15 mph, gusting to 35 mph in the afternoon. Red flag warning in effect until 8:00 p.m. tonight.

Fire Behavior: High winds today are expected to increase fire behavior with increased torching and small crown run events. Fuels are extremely dry, making them highly receptive to fire. Given the dry conditions, heavy fuels, difficult access, and time of year, the Incident Management Team expects this fire will be active until cooler, wetter weather sets in.

Firefighting Resources: Approximately 89 personnel are assigned to the fire, including four helicopters (two Type 1 and two Type 3) and a fixed-wing air attack to help coordinate aerial operations.

Evacuations: There are no evacuation or pre-evacuation orders in effect. If the fire were to reach any pre-identified management action points, it would trigger Routt County Sheriff’s Office to initiate pre-evacuation orders through their reverse-911 system. To sign up for alerts, visit http://routtcountyalerts.com. The county provides tips for wildfire preparedness, including planning for pets and livestock, on their website at http://www.co.routt.co.us/309/Fire-Safety-Tips-for-Rural-Residents.

Forest Closure: Routt National Forest has issued an area closure. The closure boundary follows Mount Zirkel Wilderness boundary on east. On the south it follows Trail 1132 (Newcomb Creek), Trail 1101 (CDNST), the Wilderness boundary, and Trails 1100 (Swamp Park), 1140 (Saddle), 1140.1A (Saddle Cut-off), and 1171 (Red Dirt). On the west it follows the boundary between National Forest and private lands east of Big Creek from Red Dirt Trailhead to Trail 1176 (Roaring Fork) and continues north along the Wilderness boundary. On the north it follows the North Fork Drainage up to The Dome, east to Lost Ranger Peak, CDNST, and Trail 1131 (Lost Ranger). Trails 1131, 1132, 1166, and 1140 are open. Portion of Trails 1100 and 1171 are open where they follow the closure boundary, closed where they enter the closed area. No roads or trailheads are closed.

Closed trails include:

Appx. 10 miles of CDNST from 1132 to 1131

1130 Rainbow Lake

1179 Roxy Ann Lake

1099 Ditch Creek

1100 and 1100.4A Swamp Park (within Wilderness Area only)

1118 Elk Park

1168 Luna Lake

1168.1 Fish Hawk Lake

1170 Chilton

1182 Crags

1184 Big Creek Lake

1171 Red Dirt past Trail 1140 intersection

Fire Restrictions: Stage 2 Fire Restrictions are in effect in Routt and Jackson counties, on all of the Routt National Forest, and across much of Northwest Colorado.

Basic Information

Incident Type:
Date of Origin:
Sunday September 06th, 2020 approx. 12:00 PM
Routt National Forest, Mount Zirkel Wilderness Area, approximately 10 miles north of Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
Incident Commander:
Sean Carey
40.628, -106.794

Current Situation

Total Personnel:
Size (Acres):
Fuels Involved:
Mixed conifer
Significant Events:
Moderate Fire behavior, with creeping, ground runs, smoldering, and torching, both group and single tree. Gusty winds this afternoon may increase fire activity.

Planned Outlook

Planned Actions:
Trail clearing, structure protection planning.
Projected Incident Activity:
Moderate fire behavior, especially when winds align with slope. Flanking, backing toward the northwest and south.

Weather Synopsis

Weather Concerns:
Mostly sunny with highs in the low 70s. Relative humidity 19-24%. Southwest winds 12-17 mph, gusting to 25 mph in the afternoon.

Incident Contact

Incident Contact
Maribeth Pecotte
Phone: 970-724-3027
Hours: M-F, 8-5
Fire Unit Information
Routt National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
925 Weiss Dr
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487