Two fires continue to grow in the high mountain region of northwestern Colorado — the Wild Cow Fire and the Oil Springs Fire, though an increase in humidity and continuing rainfall have helped containment efforts in the last 24 hours, and rains are expected to continue through Friday.
Wild Cow Fire
Cloud cover and higher humidity contributed to a decrease in fire activity, according to the White River National Forest Field Office’s Thursday incident report.
The fire, which is burning in northwestern Garfield County, is at 553 acres with 54 personnel responding to the scene.
Crews will continue to secure the perimeter and maintain suppression efforts, and they are prepping control lines to keep the fire from progressing.
Oil Springs Fire
The Oil Springs Fire, which is located 20 miles south of Rangely, is 11,933 acres, with 155 personnel responding, according to the White River Field Office wildfire incident website.
Firefighters will continue constructing a containment line in all areas around the fire.
Engine crews are combining to create six- to nine-person hand crews, as requests for hand crews continue to go unfilled, the incident report states.
Firefighters are prioritizing protection of the Dragon Trail gas plant and a 37-acre spot fire six miles in front of the Oil Springs Fire.
Crews are also prioritizing containment of the fire along the Colorado Highway 139 corridor, which runs from Mack to Rangely.
Two firefighting divisions located within the Oil Springs Mountain Wilderness Study Area, as well as an additional firefighting division on scene, are understaffed, the incident report states.
“Operational plans for each of these divisions are currently being prepared for implementation once critical resource orders are filled,” the report states.
The weather forecast predicts chances for showers and thunderstorms through Friday, with a 20% chance of wetting rains overnight.
“Fire will continue to spread actively, including upslope runs and occasional crown fire runs, unless significant precipitation occurs,” the report states.
• Colorado Highway 139
Re-opened roadways as of 8 a.m. Thursday:
• Rio Blanco County Road 23
• Rio Blanco County Road 122
• Rio Blanco County Road 103
Reporter Shannon Marvel can be reached at 605-350-8355 or firstname.lastname@example.org.