Apr 092011
Authors: Jim Sojourner

Firefighters have the Crystal Fire burning in the foothillls west of Fort Collins 75 percent contained and hope today’s burnout operation on teh northwest fire perimeter will force the fire further against the ropes by depriving it of fuel.

“Unburned fuels among burned fuels raises the possibility of a fresh start for a fire that is quickly growing cold,” said Incident Commander Paul Summerfelt of the Rock Mountain Incident Management Team 1 in a press release.

“We want to make sure that when the fire is transferred back to the Sheriff’s Office in a few days there is minimal possibility for a restart. We are working closely with all cooperating agencies to make sure this objective is met.”

Better mapping data now shows that the fire, which is burning about 10 miles northwest of Masonville, has only burned about 2,900 acres, down from earlier estimates. Fire investigators also found that 13 homes, instead of estimated 15, were torched by the blaze last weekend.

Officials now expect to have the fire fully contained by Monday.

Crews today will begin fixing containment lines and removing hazordous materials such as weakened and blackened trees.

According to an incident website maintained by the U.S. Forest Service, the fire is described as creeping and smoldering, with open flame emerging and medium growth potential.

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

 Posted by at 4:59 am

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