Forest Service to monitor, manage small wildfire 10 miles south of Rifle |

Forest Service to monitor, manage small wildfire 10 miles south of Rifle

A wildfire near Middle Mamm Creek can be seen from a forest service airplane. (White River National Forest)

UPDATE, Wednesday 2:30 p.m. — Forest Service officials will not actively work to suppress the small fire burning south of Rifle that was reportedly caused by a lightning strike over the weekend.

The fire is burning in a mix of aspen and spruce fir, including some beetle kill, in a remote area about two-thirds of the way up a hillside near the headwaters of Middle Mamm Creek, said Lynn Lockwood, spokeswoman for the White River National Forest.

As the fire is only burning on about a 10th of an acre and is in an area where there is beetle kill, the fire will be managed. At this time, the agency will not take any actions to suppress the fire, she said.

“It is the right kind of fire in a good place at a good time, and is a good fire to manage for resource benefit,” Lockwood said. “It is a good opportunity to reduce some of the hazardous fuels in that area.”

At the same time, between the recent weather pattern that has brought consistent afternoon rains and the already moist vegetation, the fire is not likely to spread very much, forest officials have also determined.

The small fire is not near any structures, and the area is accessed mostly by foot or horseback, Lockwood said.

ORIGINAL STORY, Tuesday, July 30: According to a report from the White River National Forest, firefighters spotted a small wildfire Tuesday that is currently less than an acre about 10 miles south of Rifle near Middle Mamm Creek.

At this time, no structures are threatened, according to the Forest Service.

The fire is burning in a spruce-fir stand with some beetle kill and decadent aspen, on a remote north facing hillside several miles from structures or infrastructure, according to Forest Service officials.

“It does not show potential for aggressive growth in present fuel and weather conditions,” according to a Tuesday evening press release.

Smoke may be visible south of I-70 near Rifle.

This is a developing story. The Post Independent will provide updates as they become available throughout the day.

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