Although the Beaver Creek Fire burned with less intensity Wednesday than in days prior, the blaze continued to expand and had burned 13,275 acres before rain fell overnight.

The rain temporarily reduced fire intensity but did not suppress the blaze located 15 miles northwest of Walden, Colo. just south of the Wyoming border. Firefighters expect to see smoldering and creeping fire behavior throughout Thursday.

Rising temperatures will dry out wet vegetation and make fuels in the area more flammable. Crews are working to protect structures in the Wheeler Creek and Parsons Draw areas, faced with the possibility that the fire could move further east.

Firefighters continue to remove fuels and debris from areas surrounding some 60 threatened buildings. Crews are also setting up sprinklers to increase humidity and wrapping a heat radiant reflective material around the exterior of structures by attaching the material over vents as well around the building facing the direction of the fire and covering areas where heat and embers can be trapped.

The fire management team says each structure is evaluated, treated and continuously patrolled.

Containment is still estimated at 5 percent with a total of 562 firefighters assigned to the blaze. Evacuation orders and area closures remain in place.

Crews refrain from directly the portion of the fire burning in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness area, opting instead to closely monitor fire movement and assist Forest Service staff in informing recreationists of area closures.

Firefighters are actively suppressing the fire outside of the wilderness area near threatened structures. If the fire moves beyond the wilderness boundary, firefighters will engage the flames using resources and tactics in such a way as to minimize firefighter risk with the highest probability of success.

Fire managers expect additional rain throughout Thursday with cooler temperatures ranging from 67-72 degrees and higher humidity in the neighborhood of 35-40 percent. Light north 10 mph winds will likely change directions and gust to 20 mph ahead of afternoon thunderstorms.

Beaver Creek Fire Management
Beaver Creek Fire Management

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