STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. (KDVR) — The Middle Fork Fire area north of Steamboat Springs is now open to the public, according to an announcement Monday from Routt National Forest. The area has been closed since Sept. 9.
While the public can access and use the burn area in Jackson and Routt Counties, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) warns that the Middle Fork Fire may still be smoldering. Most of the burn area has cooled, but heat may still exist in thick timber stands and deadfall.
The Middle Fork Fire primarily burned forest in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness, where motorized vehicles are permanently prohibited from operating. The USDA says some of the wilderness area is marked, but it is up to individuals to know where they are in reference to restricted or prohibited areas.
Forest staff continue to monitor the fire as it remains in patrol status and has not been declared fully controlled (out). The fire has been declared 100% contained.
The Middle Fork Fire was reported on Sept. 6 and burned 20,157 acres.