Hot, dry conditions fuel expansion of Hunt Fire in Rio Blanco County

(Photo: Bureau of Land Management)

RIO BLANCO COUNTY, Colo. — Hot, dry weather contributed to the Hunt Fire in Rio Blanco County growing to 2,300 acres on Sunday, the Northwest Colorado Interagency Fire Management Unit said.

The fire is burning on Bureau of Land management land about 26 miles southwest of Meeker. On Saturday, officials said the fire was at about 1,900 acres.

Lightning started the fire Thursday. The fire is in a remote location, burning in thick brush on ridges and valleys north of the Roan Plateau.

Smoke is impacting Glenwood Springs and other towns to the east of the fire, officials said.

Conditions are expected to be cooler on Sunday. Two heavy helicopters have been brought in to fight the fire along with two hand crews and several engines from the BLM and local agencies.

Firefighters focused on protecting isolated historic cabins and oil and gas facilities on Saturday.

Crews are working to keep the fire north of the Rio Blanco County line, south of an oil pipeline that is north of fire, east of Hunter Creek and west of West Willow Creek.

Officials said the fire’s removal of heavy, dead downed trees and thick brush will open the landscape and allow for new vegetation.

An area closure is in effect to allow firefighters and public safety in the area around the fire.

The closure includes public lands and roads with an area north of the Rio Blanco County line, east of Hunter Creek Road, west of Willow Creek Road and north to Rio Blanco County Road 5.

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