Lost Solar Fire burns in remote Flat Tops | PostIndependent.com

Lost Solar Fire burns in remote Flat Tops

Fire crews are taking a “confine and contain” approach to a 2-acre fire burning in a remote, western section of the Flat Tops Wilderness.

What fire crews are calling the Lost Solar Fire is burning in spruce and fir about a mile up Lost Solar Drainage, a side drainage of the South Fork of the White River, according to a press release.

This is located in the Rio Blanco Ranger District in a steep, rocky area where it’s unsafe to send hand crews.

Firefighters from the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit plan to allow the fire to take its natural course, which the unit adds would be beneficial to the ecosystem.

“Wildland fire managers have the option to manage naturally ignited fires to benefit the surrounding ecosystem. This management decision occurs where fire is a major component of the ecosystem and where specific, prestated resource management objectives in a predefined geographic area can be accomplished,” a news release said.

“The confine and contain strategy will allow crews to monitor the fire from a safe distance. Crews have preidentified a management area utilizing natural barriers such as rock formations and cliffs, roads and natural fire breaks,” according to the fire management unit.

“The Lost Solar Fire is located in bighorn sheep habitat,” said Curtis Keetch, Blanco District ranger. “A fire in this location will promote habitat for not only bighorn sheep but all big game by clearing old and overcrowded vegetation to make way for healthy, new forage.”

Meanwhile, fire crews in Moffat County have been battling another wildland fire that ignited west of Craig on Wednesday. The size of this fire, which is near Moffat County Road 90, is still unclear, as is its cause.

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