Badger Creek Fire Now Over 11,000 Acres, Three Structures Destroyed [UPDATE]
UPDATE(9 a.m.): The fire is currently 11,021 acres. The Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team Black said that the fire grew significantly on Wednesday, with most of the growth on the east side of the fire as it was driven by winds into dense vegetation. The intense fire behavior and thick smoke made it unsafe for firefighters and aviation resources to carry out suppression efforts n the east side of the fire during much of the day.
The focus has been on structure protection. While there is no containment of the fire, crews have been successful in building fire lines on the west, south and north sides of the fire.
Today, crews will continue to build fireline on the north side of the fire. In the south, firefighters will construct both hand and dozer lines to limit fire spread.
A red flag warning is in effect for the Badger Creek Fire area from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. Thursday. Critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will shortly. Strong winds, low relative humidity and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior.
Officials from the Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team Black and cooperators held a meeting at 7 p.m, at the Albany County Fairgrounds. Wednesday to brief Albany County residents on the Badger Creek Fire.
The fire has now burned 7,034 acres. Albany County Sheriff David O'Malley said that three structures in Wold Tract had been destroyed - one residence, and two out buildings. O'Malley said the owners of the buildings had been contacted and notified the buildings were destroyed.
The cause of the fire has not yet been determined. There is zero percent containment.
Incident meteorologist Tim Mathewson said very dry, windy conditions are expected through Friday, complicating fire suppression efforts. Mathewson said conditions are expected to cool off over the weekend. Cloud cover and increased humidity during the weekend should help efforts.
Albany County Emergency Management Coordinator Aimee Binning urged those present to make sure that they were signed up for Albany Countywide Alerts so they could be notified of evacuation orders.