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Latest on evacuations, road closures as Colorado wildfire season kicks off amid prime conditions

Slyvan Fire Leadville
Posted at 5:15 AM, Jun 22, 2021

COLORADO — Crews across the state are battling multiple wildfires as critical fire weather conditions persist in many parts of Colorado. Most of the Western Slope is under a red flag warning or a fire weather watch as that area of the state continues to grapple with extreme to exceptional drought conditions.

We are providing the latest updates on all wildfire activity in the state:

Sylvan Fire

A fire burning 12 miles south of the town of Eagle near Sylvan Lake State Park in Eagle County, called the Sylvan Fire, forced officials to issue pre-evacuation notices Sunday. Campers and others recreating in Sylvan Lake State Park and much of the surrounding lands were evacuated.

On Monday morning, the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office said all residents, businesses and other people in the Ruedi, Meredith and Thomasville areas may be asked to evacuate if the Sylvan Wildfire worsens. As of 6:30 a.m., the upper Frying Pan from the dam to Hagerman Pass is under pre-evacuation notice. An evacuation center is set up at the Basalt High School, located at 600 Southside Drive.

The fire was first reported around 3:15 p.m. Sunday and was estimated to be at 400 acres and growing in lodgepole pine and other timber on the White River National Forest. It is being pushed by high winds and firefighters are reporting extreme fire behavior, officials said.

The cause is under investigation. More on Monday's developments on the fire below:

Latest on the Sylvan Fire

5 p.m. | The U.S. Forest Service said the Sylvan Fire was 1,424 acres as of Monday afternoon and 75 personnel, along with two helicopters, were assigned to the fire. David Boyd, a spokesperson for the Forest Service, said firefighting were making progress on lines on the fire's eastern and western sides. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but Boyd said lightning was suspected.
12:21 p.m. | The Sylvan Fire has grown to 400 acres from an estimated 180 acres Sunday evening.
11:55 a.m. | At least six members of West Metro Fire Rescue were heading Monday morning to Eagle County to assist in fire fighting efforts, bringing two brush trucks with them. The West Metro crew will add to the already 60 personnel fighting the blaze.


Oil Springs Fire

Lightning is being blamed for starting a wildfire in Rio Blanco County Friday. This blaze, called the Oil Springs Fire, is burning 20 miles south of Rangely and was at 0% containment Monday morning. It has grown to 5,000 acres.

The Oil Springs Fire is burning in a remote area, preventing trucks from getting to the blaze, officials said. However, no structures are threatened. The BLM is expecting the fire to burn numerous acres. Highway 139 was closed Sunday as the fire encroached. It jumped the highway overnight.

In addition to Highway 139, several other roads are closed, including the County Road 23 and County Road 113 intersection, and County Road 122 at mile marker 10.

Evacuations were ordered for County Road 116, County Road 27, County Road 28, County Road 120, County Road 26A, County Road 103, and County Road 128.

Latest on the Oil Springs Fire

12:34 p.m. | CO 139 Douglas Pass is expected to remain CLOSED overnight tonight (Monday) due to the Oil Springs Fire. A potential alternate route is CO 13 to CO 64 or CO 13 to US 40.
12:07 p.m. | Red flag warning in effect for the Oil Springs Fire area until 9 p.m. Tuesday.


Muddy Slide Fire

A third fire reported Sunday, the Muddy Slide Fire, is burning in the area of Forest Service Roads 280 and 285 on Green Ridge in south Routt County. Several local, state, and federal resources are working at the scene, officials said.

Green Ridge and South Stagecoach are under pre-evacuation notice for this fire. As of Monday morning, it was about 100 acres. At least 50 personnel are fighting the fire and is expected to grow north and east.

Latest on the Muddy Slide Fire

12:13 p.m. | Pre evacuation notice remains in effect for the Muddy Slide fire in the Green Ridge / South Stagecoach area.


West Fire

In Moffat County, a fire was reported burning on Middle Mountain in the northwest corner of the county. The fire is on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and State Trust Lands, burning in heavy lodgepole pine timbers, officials said. The size of the blaze is estimated to be at 500 acres. Officials have named this blaze the West Fire.

The West Fire is spewing smoke that's visible across most of Moffat County and Craig. It's threatening e-grouse habitat and energy infrastructure, according to the BLM.


Trail Canyon Fire

The 840-acre Trail Canyon Fire is burning on Ute Mountain Ute Tribal lands in Montezuma County, about 10 miles northwest of Red Mesa, Colo. It was first reported Friday and believed to have been sparked by lightning. It was reported to be at 30% containment on Monday.

Approximately 65 firefighters have been assigned to the fire and they are being assisted by helicopters and fixed-wing air tankers, with additional resources expected Monday, according to Inciweb.


Other fires

A lightning-sparked fire in Mount Falcon Park in Jefferson County flared up Sunday, growing a quarter acre since Saturday. A helicopter is attacking the blaze while the park remains closed. The park was able to reopen for a few hours Sunday before it was closed again after the fire flared up.

Also on Saturday, BLM reported several fires along Interstate 70 amid multiple lightning strikes. The largest fire is the Smith Gulch Fire, an estimated 5-acre blaze burning northeast of De Beque and is visible from I-70. Officials reported multiple engines, crews, and aircraft are making good progress on the fires.