Fire south of Parachute almost fully contained
Officials were at or near full containment of a fire southwest of Parachute, while another blaze is being allowed to burn in the Flat Tops Wilderness area.
The Spring Creek 2 Fire was at 90 percent containment Wednesday evening, and officials expected to reach full containment by 8 p.m. Thursday, according to a media release. There was no word if fire crews were able to reach full containment Thursday night.
The fire was reportedly caused by a lightning strike last Friday on private land.
It burned 621 acres and destroyed multiple structures — none were primary residences — and vehicles in the first three days.
Officials on Wednesday cautioned that smoke and ash might be visible in the area as fuels continue to burn.
Meanwhile, fire crews are allowing the Lost Solar Fire in the Rio Blanco Ranger District to continue burning. The fire is around 108 acres and moving northeast up the Lost Solar Drainage into the Flat Tops Wilderness.
The blaze is burning slowly and effectively clearing overgrown vegetation, which will benefit bighorn sheep and other big game, according to a media release from the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit.
A strategy hatched by fire officials will allow the blaze to burn within a defined management area.
“The Lost Solar fire is burning well within the desired management area,” Curtis Keetch, district ranger, said in the media release. “The fire is taking its natural course within that ecosystem and providing long-term benefit for big game habitat.”
Officials expect activity to increase in the next several days due to incoming weather.
“We are encouraging the public to avoid the Lost Solar Drainage,” Keetch said. “South Fork is still open but folks are encouraged to avoid the area if possible and check in at the ranger station before making plans to head that direction.”
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Roaring Fork Schools volunteers who have already completed a comparable background check through an approved entity would be good to go.