Apr 092011
Authors: Jim Sojourner

After a successful 10-acre burnout operation Saturday to secure the northwest fireline, firefighters now have the Crystal Fire burning in the foothills west of Fort Collins 90 percent contained.

“The Crystal Fire has been an excellent example of interagency cooperation,” said Incident Commander Paul Summerfelt in a press release. “Much of the progress on this fire is owed to the dedication and hard work by the firefighters and local cooperators. We appreciate their efforts and the efforts of all those involved in fighting the Crystal Fire.”

Better mapping data shows that the fire, which is burning about 10 miles northwest of Masonville on private land and in Roosevelt National Forest, has burned 2,940 acres, down from earlier estimates. Fire investigators also found that 13 homes, instead of initially estimated 15, were torched by the blaze.

Officials now expect to have the fire fully contained by Monday, after some rain and snow fell on the area last night.

Crews will spend today finishing a small containment line section on the west side of the fire and will continue mop-up and rehabilitation efforts. Helicopters will begin hauling equipment off the line and demobilization of surplus resources will begin.

A local Burn Area Emergency Response Team will also begin mitigating the ecological impacts within the burn area, including soil stabilization and control of water, sediment and debris movement, a press release said.

According to an incident website maintained by the U.S. Forest Service, the fire is described as creeping with isolated single-tree torching and low growth potential.

The fire started April 1, and its cause is still under investigation.

 Posted by at 12:35 pm

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