Fire along Buford Road caused by lightning |

Fire along Buford Road caused by lightning

The Clark Creek Fire burns in the Flat Tops area near the New Castle-Buford Road.
Courtesy Bernie Boettcher

UPDATE: What’s now being referred to as the Clark Creek Fire burning in the Triangle Park area along the Buford Road in the Flat Tops was caused by lightning and is reported to be about 4 to 5 acres in size. The fire is burning on White River National Forest land, and the incident has been turned over to the U.S. Forest Service. According to Karen Schroyer, agency administrator for the incident, the Forest Service was working with landowners in the area to allow a Type 1 helicopter to use a private reservoir in order to conduct water drops on the fire. Four engines were also deployed for ground support. Some dispersed campsites in the area were evacuated Sunday evening, but no developed campgrounds or structures were threatened, Schroyer said.

Firefighters were responding late Sunday evening to a large fire near Triangle Park, about 22 miles north of New Castle along the Buford Road, the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office reported.

As of a little after 8 p.m., campsites in the area were being evacuated, and Colorado River Fire Rescue was en route, according to a Facebook post from the Sheriff’s Office.

The post urged bystanders to stay clear of the area so that firefighters could access the fire.

Garfield County Sheriff’s spokesman Walt Stowe said the fire was near the Forest Road 125 turnoff to Meadow Lake. He did not have an initial estimate of acreage involved in the fire.

Several dry lightning storms moved through the area Sunday afternoon, but the cause of the fire was unknown as of late Sunday, Stowe said.

Elsewhere in the White River National Forest, firefighters and air attack were working to suppress the Gutzler Fire, located approximately 14 miles southwest of Kremmling and approximately 9 miles east of the State Bridge area.

The fire was approximately 250 acres and burning in mixed conifer and timber, according to a WRNF news release issue just before 8 p.m. Sunday. The release advised that smoke may be visible from the State Bridge area in Eagle County, and from Highway 9 in Summit County.

“The Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire and Aviation Management Unit (UCR) is working to size up the fire,” the release said.

The fire response included four Forest Service engines, eight smoke jumpers, one heavy air tanker, one single engine air tanker and a Type 3 helicopter. Air resources conducted several retardant drops late Sunday afternoon. Air operations ceased later in the evening due to weather, visibility and darkness.

Four hotshot crews have been ordered to the fire and were expected to arrive sometime Monday.

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