Winter Valley Fire in Moffat County: What you need to know

Posted at 12:14 PM, Sep 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-22 15:34:59-04

RAIG, Colo. – Crews are trying to get a handle on a rapidly-growing fire in Moffat County. The Winter Valley Fire, as it has been dubbed, has grown to over 5,000 acres since noon Thursday.

Here is what you need to know:

Structures threatened
Several oil and gas structures, communications towers, a Federal Aviation Administration structure, and about 25 residences in the area are threatened. No structures have been reported lost.

Where is it burning?
The Winter Valley Fire is burning near Elk Springs, an unincorporated community in western Moffat County. The fire is burning on private and public lands. U.S. 40 in the area has been closed due to thick smoke.

No mandatory evacuation orders are in place. However, the county is recommending residents in the area to leave. Several people at the Deerlodge Park Campground were evacuated Thursday as the fast-moving blaze encroached closer to the site. 

Firefighting efforts
Officials with the Bureau of Land Management are managing the fire. Around 150 additional firefighters will join two hotshot crews Friday who have been deployed to help battle the fire.

What sparked the blaze?
The fire started around noon Thursday and quickly got out of control amid dry, windy conditions. The exact cause of the fire is unknown.