Beaver Creek Fire still smoldering after 4 months

Posted at 1:51 PM, Oct 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-20 19:48:06-04

ROUTT COUNTY, Colo. -- Colorado's largest wildfire of the 2016 season, the Beaver Creek Fire, is still smoldering four months after it started.

The Beaver Creek Fire was detected on June 19, 2016. It started 24 miles northwest of Walden.

The fire quickly exploded and burned more than 38,000 acres in Colorado and Wyoming.

Weeks later, the fire was 75 percent contained, but it's still smoldering and putting up smoke on the west side of the fire perimeter in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness.

"We do have some potions that are not out," explained Forest Service Public Affairs Specialist Aaron Voos. "It's smoldering in heavy timber."

During the fire fight, officials set an estimated containment date of October 21. But now that we're about to reach October 21, Voos said the fire won't be contained on that date.

"We won’t see 100 percent containment until we see a nice, big snowstorm with sustained snow on the ground," Voos said. "[It] takes more than a little moisture to put it out."

Two trails remain closed in the area -- the Beaver Creek Trail and the Seven Lakes Trail.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Officials said it started just north of Big Creek Lakes Campground, in Twisty Park, but they haven't released any more details.

While Colorado had a below average fire season, the Routt National Forest had a way above average fire season, Voos said.

"We had multiple extended fires including the Beaver Creek," Voos said. "Typically that's not the case. Routt doesn’t typically see a lot of fires in a given year."

Voos said a second fire, the Silver Creek Fire, south of Steamboat Springs, is contained but is not out yet. Voos said that fire is still smoldering internally.


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