Colorado’s newest wildfire, Collom fire, spreads near Craig

A fire sparked and spread fast in northwest Colorado on Tuesday. The Collom fire, burning between Craig and Meeker is 400 acres big with officials working to establish control lines around parts of the fire’s perimeter.

The fire is located off of Colorado Highway 13, near Moffat County roads 17 and 13 and has closed Moffat County Road 51. A large coal mine, the Colowyo Mine, is in the near vicinity of the fire.

So far, the fire has burned sage and oak brush on private lands with several entities fighting the blaze. The Moffat County Sheriff’s Office reports that the fire moderated overnight, with crews working on aerial mapping of the area.

The fire burns in the hardest-hit drought region of the state while excessive heat warnings have been placed for parts of the Western Slope due to a heatwave.

The entire Southwest is struggling with fires as the country’s biggest fire by acreage, the Telegraph Fire, jumped its containment and merged with the second-largest fire in the country, the Mescal fire on Tuesday. The dire conditions in eastern Arizona are mirrored in New Mexico which has five large fires burning, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

“Currently, 33 large fires have burned more than 360,000 acres in 10 states,” the NIFC released in a statement on Wednesday. “Eleven new large fires were reported yesterday. Wildland fire activity increased in the Northern Rockies and Rocky Mountain areas where seven new large fires were reported. More than half of the 33 uncontained large fires are in the Southwest and Great Basin areas.”

The NIFC also reports the Collom Fire as 5% contained. The cause of that fire is under investigation.

Before the blaze even sparked on Tuesday the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office released Stage I Fire Restrictions that went into effect Wednesday.

Several other wildfires have burned in or are right up against Colorado. The largest active one is the Pack Creek Fire at 8,453 acres and 26% containment, 14 miles southeast of Moab, Utah and about eight miles west of the border with Colorado.

Most smoke in the Centennial State on Wednesday, causing poor air quality, is coming from the fires in Arizona and New Mexico.


Wildfire map

Click markers for details, use buttons to change what wildfires are shown. Map data is automatically updated by government agencies and could lag real-time events. Incident types are numbered 1-5 — a type 1 incident is a large, complex wildfire affecting people and critical infrastructure, a type 5 incident is a small wildfire with few personnel involved. Find more information about incident types at the bottom of this page.

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