Beaver Creek Fire Crosses Wyoming Border, Has Now Burned Over 18,700 Acres
Low humidity and erratic winds helped the Beaver Creek Fire grow by 3,500 acres since Sunday.
Fire managers say the fire had burned 18,787 acres as of Monday morning, including over 11,000 acres on the Routt National Forest. They expect similar activity throughout Monday as little change in weather is predicted.
The fire burned through Carney Draw Sunday, crossing into Big Creek Park in Wyoming. In the northeast area of the fire, flames moved into the vicinity of WIlls Reservoir.
"With the reduced humidity and when exposed to the strong winds we had yesterday, the fire was able to move with authority through the heavy dead and downed timber producing large volumes of smoke," fire managers said in a Monday morning news release.
On the east side, the fire crossed the 35 Road in three places toward the north, and is reportedly backing down the slope. Fire managers say the eastern side of the road is sheltered from the wind which helps slow the spread of the fire.
Crews continue to prepare building defense measures in Parsons Draw, where the remaining residents were ordered to evacuate Sunday.
Fire managers deployed a night shift Sunday night. Those engines continue to patrol for hot spots near structures.
The fire is torching the previously unburned area near Republic Creek and Road 609, spreading east/northeast.
Monday's forecast calls for westerly winds of 12-20 mph gusting to 35 mph. Minimum humidity is expected to be down to 18 percent, combining for fire activity that is predicted to be similar to what was seen Sunday.
No firefighter injuries have been reported.
The goal of fire managers is to "allow the fire to move out of the timber down to the flats where fighters are able to engage it with a high expectation for success in holding the fire." For now, the fire remains 5 percent contained.
175 firefighters including three crews, 17 engines, one dozer and three helicopters are assigned to the fire, burning roughly 24 miles north of Walden, Colo.
The cause is still under investigation. Anyone with information can contact U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement Officer Hannah Nadeau at 307-343-2335.