Beaver Creek Fire Grows to Over 30,000 Acres
Weather continues to work against firefighters trying to suppress the Beaver Creek Fire, which expanded overnight with spotting up to a half mile.
Fire managers report the blaze expanded to 30,137 acres as of 6 a.m. Friday. The fire remains 12 percent contained.
A total of 278 firefighters including five crews, 24 engines, two dozers, four helicopters, two fixed air tankers and an air attack plane are working to extinguish the blaze.
This week's expansion has been attributed to weather -- the culprit is a persistent high-pressure ridge still sitting over the Great Basin pushing warm, dry air across the fire area and extending the drying trend, which has continued for roughly a week now.
Thursday's temperatures were in the 70s with relative humidity in the low teens and consistent wind speeds of 20-22 mph accompanied by gusts up to 50 mph.
Friday's forecast calls for largely similar weather but with slightly less wind. Fire managers note there is still potential for "active fire behavior."
The goal of fire managers is full suppression of the flames, but given the nature of the fuel -- dense, standing beetle-killed timber -- direct attack by ground crews is simply too dangerous an undertaking in most areas.
Crews are putting themselves in places where they can safely fight the flames with a high probability of success.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. The Beaver Creek Fire is located 24 miles north of Walden, Colo. and is also burning in southern Carbon County, Wyo.