KRAI News for Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020

Monday was a smoky day in Northwest Colorado. 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.

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 area of the fire 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.

Because of all of the fires, 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. Levels were very high in Steamboat Springs, also along the I-70 corridor, and over 100 in Meeker and Rangely. Routt County officials asked residents to please try to remain indoors if possible. Check the air quality conditions at

Pine Gulch Fire courtesy inciweb.

The Pine Gulch Fire north of Grand Junction is at 87 percent containment. It has burned close to 140,000 acres and now is the largest wildfire in Colorado history.




The Cameron Peak Fire west of Fort Collins is the one that needs the most snow to fall on it. It’s just 4% contained, and it is quickly approaching 100,000 acres. It more than tripled in size over the Labor Day weekend. Many have been evacuated. But as of Sunday night, only one structure has burned. And that’s trailhead outhouse.

Coal Ridge High School in Newcastle is moving students to more online classes after another positive case of COVID-19. One student tested positive, but about 100 students and nine teachers are in quarantine.

Visit Moffat County and the Moffat County Tourism Association are having their board meeting Wednesday. It start at 3 p.m. and runs until around 5 p.m. at 775 Yampa Ave.

On Thursday, there’s a board meeting for the Moffat County Local Marketing District in City Council Chambers on 4th Street. That’s at 4 p.m. in the afternoon.

For the weather, don’t forget to call the KRAI Time, Temp, and Weather Hotline at 970-824-1918.

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