Morgan Creek Fire updates: Fire grew 450 acres, wet weather has slowed spread

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STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. (KDVR) — The Morgan Creek Fire was reported on July 9 in the Routt National Forest 15 miles north of Steamboat Springs. The fire started south of the Hinman Campground and spread over the subsequent days south-southeast towards and into the Mt. Zirkel Wilderness. The cause remains under investigation. 

forest area closure and pre-evacuation orders were issued by the Routt County Sheriff for residents in the immediate area of the fire on July 9. 

UPDATE (July 31, 7:41 p.m.): The Morgan Creek Fire has grown by approximately 450 acres, from 7,049 to now 7,500 acres. The higher humidity and rainy weather have slowed the fire’s growth. However, some interior pockets of unburned fuel are still burning together, and even after the recent rains the fire will likely not go out anytime soon.

UPDATE (July 30, 1:00 p.m..): A forest closure order remains in effect for areas near the Morgan Creek Fire including the Seedhouse recreation corridor and a portion of the Mt. Zirkel Wilderness. Forest Service Road 400, also known as the Seedhouse Road, as well as other Forest Service roads and trails in the closure area remain closed to entry for public and firefighter safety. County Road 64 between County Road 129 and Forest Service Road 400 is limited to emergency and local traffic only. 

Currently the fire is at 7,049 acres and 8% containment.

UPDATE (July 29, 12:00 p.m..): The fire grew to 7,049 acres Thursday. Crews will continue to hold, patrol, and improve containment lines in all divisions today. There are several pieces of heavy equipment near Seedhouse Campground, which will be used to conduct fuels mitigation. Hose line has been plumbed to that area to protect historical structures. If conditions allow crews may recommence firing operations.

UPDATE (July 27, 8:20 a.m..): The fire grew to 6,093 acres Monday. Beginning midweek, monsoon moisture will begin to return to the area. Slightly lower temperatures, and rising relative humidity, along with more clouds and better chances for rain and storms, will begin to moderate conditions for the latter portion of the week.

UPDATE (July 26, 11:20 a.m..): Counter measures to subdue the north Coloradan wildfire continue to ramp up as fire crews achieved 8% containment late Sunday night. The blaze spread another 331 acres raising the burn area in total to 5,997 acres.

UPDATE (July 25, 2:15 p.m.): Both air and ground firefighting resources have steadily increased in number in recent days in an effort to contain the fire. At this time, it is reportedly 7% contained, and has burned 5,666 acres.

UPDATE (July 23, 11:45a.m.): The fire grew to 5,617 acres Friday.  A warming and drying trend is forecasted to move into the area over the weekend, which will increase fire activity in the coming days. A forest closure order remains in effect for areas near the Morgan Creek Fire including many areas in the Seedhouse recreation corridor and the Mt. Zirkel Wilderness Area.

UPDATE (July 21, 9:40 a.m.): The fire grew to 5,307 acres Wednesday. Scattered showers and thunderstorms, capable of producing wetting rains, can be expected each afternoon and evening through the remainder of the week, moderating fire conditions.

UPDATE (July 20, 11 a.m.): The fire grew to 5,117 acres Tuesday. Smoke impacts to the town of Clark and Steamboat Springs.

UPDATE (July 19, 12 p.m.): The fire grew to 4,443 acres Monday. Smoke impacts to the town of Clark and Steamboat Springs.

UPDATE (July 18, 8:10 p.m.): Activity on the fire remained light through Saturday and overnight. The fire grew to 4,396 acres yesterday with most of that activity on the northeast side of the fire. There was minimal fire activity in all areas around the fire.

Crews in Division Z continued improving and mopping up fire line between the northwest corner of the fire and the Wapiti Ranch. On the west and southwest sides of the fire in Division X, crews completed the indirect line south of Wapiti Ranch, to the 471 Road and east to the wilderness boundary.

Crews in all divisions will be supported by two Type 1 helicopters and two Type 3 helicopters, as needed. 

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