Beaver Creek Fire Expands to Over 9,000 Acres
The Beaver Creek Fire grew by nearly 3,000 acres from Monday morning to Tuesday morning, spurred on by consecutive days of low humidity and north by northwest winds.
A news release from Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team Blue says the fire edge expanded to the south and west into the Mount Zirkel Wilderness near Big Creek Lake, encompassing a total of 9,114 acres as of Tuesday morning.
Fire activity is expected to increase as the day wears on and the inversion moves out.
Group torching and crowning kept up into the early hours of Tuesday, a period that typically sees less intense fire activity. No significant growth was observed on the north and east edges of the fire. The blaze remains 5 percent contained.
Firefighters, now numbering in 487 in total, continued structure protection efforts overnight and took care of hot spots left behind after the fire moved through. Intense flames continue to consume dense dead timber roughly two miles south of the Wyoming/Colorado border, 15 miles northwest of Walden, Colo.
Air attack crews watched over the fire Tuesday morning. Ground crews will be able to call on helicopters throughout the day to target spot fires and hot spots.
Firefighters assisted one person who was injured near a contingency fireline Monday night. A man and his wife, who decided not to evacuate despite an order from the Jackson County Sheriff's Office, were out riding ATVs when the man's machine tipped over.
The man was airlifted to a hospital.
Firefighters have successfully defended all residential structures within and near the fire perimeter thus far. Crews continue those efforts by setting up sprinkler systems, removing fuel and building and improving upon contingency fire lines.
Evacuation orders and area facility closures remain in place.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Anyone with information on suspicious activity can contact U.S. Forest Service Officer Hannah Nadeau at 307-343-2335.