Routt National Forest lifts Middle Fork Fire area closure

Release Date: Nov 23, 2020

Media Contact: Aaron Voos, (970) 819-2898

(STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo.) November 23, 2020 – The Routt National Forest has lifted the Middle Fork Fire area closure north of Steamboat Springs, Colo. due to the onset of consistent winter conditions and the lack of fire activity in the burn area. The area closure had been in place since September 9.

The public may access and use the burn area in Jackson and Routt Counties, Colo., however, should be aware that the Middle Fork Fire may still be smoldering. Most of the burn area has cooled, but heat may still exist in thick timber stands and deadfall. Smoke has not been visible for several weeks.

Since the Middle Fork Fire primarily burned forest in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness, winter recreation users are reminded that they are responsible to always know wilderness boundaries and regulations in place. Motorized vehicles are permanently prohibited from operating in wilderness areas. Some of the wilderness area is marked, but it is ultimately up to the individuals to know where they are in reference to restricted or prohibited areas. Maps are available on the Forest website.

Forest staff will continue to monitor the fire as it remains in patrol status and has not been declared fully controlled (out). The fire has been declared 100% contained.

Caution is urged in burned areas, as trees may have been weakened by the fire and could easily fall. The burn area will have many ‘snags,’ or standing dead trees that are fire weakened and highly unstable, especially in high winds.

The Middle Fork Fire was reported on September 6 and burned 20,157 acres.

Any additional fire information and updates will be provided by the USDA Forest Service on Twitter and on InciWeb. The Facebook page specific to the Middle Fork Fire is no longer updated.

Our offices are serving the public remotely and are available by phone. Call your local Routt National Forest office for site-specific information.

  • Hahns Peak-Bears Ears Ranger District, Steamboat Springs, Colo., (970) 870-2299
  • Forest Supervisor’s Office, Laramie, Wyo., (307) 745-2300
  • Parks Ranger District, Walden, Colo., (970) 723-2700
  • Yampa Ranger District, Yampa, Colo., (970) 638-4516

Additional information may be found on our website.