Middle Mamm Fire continues to grow | PostIndependent.com

Middle Mamm Fire continues to grow

The Middle Mamm Creek Fire continues to slowly burn large amounts of dead and downed timber approximately 10 miles south of Rifle.

Officials said beetles and disease have weakened many trees in the fire area. When the fire removes clumps of these unhealthy trees, smoke production increases. But this carefully managed fire is creating much less smoke than the big, destructive fires that the Middle Mamm Fire will help to prevent.

“It is largely burning the dead and down accumulated fuels within the timber,” Rifle District Ranger Sarah Hankens said.

“With the hot dry weather we have fire resources that are taking fuel samples and looking at the landscape so we can be aware and manage for future fire behavior and future spread.”

A lightning strike started the fire in late July and has slowly burned in the timber covered area.

As of Tuesday evening the fire had grown to 209 acres.

Hankens said they are managing resource benefits and identifying strategies for implementation to protect adjacent private properties and associated infrastructure.

She also reiterated the fire is located of forest service land and no private or BLM property is threated at this time.

Fifteen fire personnel from the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire and Aviation Management Unit (UCR) continue to manage the fire to reduce accumulated fuels and improve forest health and wildlife habitat.

“We do have a helicopter available, even though it is visible form I-70 and Rifle it’s a very rugged area and access can be challenging,” Hankens said.

With the dry conditions and excessive wind from last weekend bucket drops were used to slow down fire behavior.

“Were constantly assess the situation and what the appropriate resource management is needed,” Hankens said.

There are no associated road or trail closures in place due to the fire.

As the fire plays its natural role, smoke will continue to be visible along the I-70 corridor near Rifle and Silt. Depending on weather conditions, some smoke may travel into nearby communities.

For more information on how wildfire smoke may affect your health, please visit: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/wood-smoke-and-health

For more information on the Middle Mamm Fire, please visit:

Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6527

kmills@postindependent.com


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