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Cabin Lake Fire roars back to life, doubling in size and prompting new evacuations

Posted at 6:59 AM, Aug 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-15 08:59:01-04

RIO BLANCO COUNTY, Colo. — The Cabin Lake Fire has almost doubled in size since Sunday.

On Aug. 7, authorities posted on the Cabin Lake Fire Facebook page that the fire was 72 percent contained and 1,158 acres, and noted that the post would be the “final update for Cabin Lake Fire, pending any further developments.”

That changed this week.

As of Tuesday evening, the Cabin Lake Fire grew to 3,700 acres and was 35 percent contained. That’s almost double the acreage as of Sunday, when the fire was estimated at 1,900 acres and 45 percent contained. On Monday, fire personnel said the fire was about 2,375 acres.

Extreme fire conditions, including dry fuels and 45 mph winds, are helping the fire grow and extending the height of the fire’s smoke column, which reached higher than 23,000 feet Tuesday morning. These poor conditions are pushing the fire south and east through old burn scar areas.

The Rio Blanco County Sheriff's Office has issued a mandatory evacuation for all residents along County Road 10 south from the County Road 17 and County Road 10 intersection, also known as the South Fork drainage. A road block is in effect at this intersection.

Residents in the area south of South Fork Road toward Burro Mountain and southwest of County Road 10 are also under mandatory evacuation.

The Buford New Castle Road remains closed at the County Road 10 and County Road 17 intersection and south to the Meadow Lake Campground Turnoff (Forest Road 601).

A pre-evacuation notice for County Road 17 was in effect as of Tuesday evening.

On Tuesday, crews actively fought the fire along its southeastern flank through the South Fork drainage area. Helicopters made water drops in coordination with ground operations throughout the day to limit the fire from spreading. Crews also spent time along the northern perimeter, where structure protection operations continued into Tuesday night.

This fire started July 29 from an unknown cause.

For more information, follow the Rio Blanco County Sheriff on Facebook here, the Cabin Lake Fire Facebook page here or call 970-878-9600 for evacuation information.