Steamboat Radio News by Shannon Lukens
Smoky haze in Steamboat. Photo courtesy Leigh Rushton.
Monday was a smoky day in Steamboat, so smoky that there was an air quality alert from the county. The Middle Fork Fire is burning in Routt National Forest bringing a lot of smoke to the Yampa Valley.
It's in the Middle Fork of Mad Creek in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness, about 10 miles north of Steamboat Springs. Aaron Voos with Routt National Forest says they think it started from lightning Sunday, but grew quickly Monday, burning over 3,500 acres.
Then Monday, the fire headed east, toward a small system of lakes.
COMPLETE INTERVIEW WITH AARON VOOS:
Snow in the high country will certainly help the Middle Fork Fire. Helicopters are helping dump water buckets on the fire.
A Multi-Mission Aircraft from Colorado is flying over the region and getting a more accurate map of the fire using infrared and color sensors which is better for more mapping at high altitudes. No firefighters are on the ground. But more teams have been ordered in to help.
The air quality last night started reaching levels where healthy adults could experience health effects if they are exposed for 24 hours; members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects. County officials asked residents to please try to remain indoors if possible. Check the air quality conditions at www.PurpleAir.com
The area of the fire in North Routt will be closed today for hunters, campers, and hikers. That will include a portion of the Continental Divide Trail, and over the border into Jackson County. No word on how long it will be closed but it could be for awhile.
City offices in City Hall and Centennial Hall are open as of today. They’ve been closed during COVID. Hours are noon to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday. City offices are closed on Friday. Don’t forget to wear your mask.
A Wiffle Ball Adult League is forming through the City of Steamboat Springs. It’s a coed league of six verses six players with three men and three women on the field at all times. Register by Sept. 14 through www.SteamboatSprings.net/wiffleball