A new wildfire – called the Middle Fork Fire – broke out on Sunday just 10 miles north of Steamboat Springs.
The now-3,522-acre fire is currently burning in the Zirkel Wilderness Area west of Lake Margaret between the Middle and North forks of Mad Creek. The blaze was reported at just 137 acres on Monday morning.
According to the official report on inciWeb, the fast-moving blaze has reached Luna Lake, with flames headed toward Mount Ethel. It is located within one mile of the Continental Divide Trail, a popular hiking destination.
Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue urged hunters and recreators to leave the area, deeming it unsafe on Monday due to "erratic winds, high heat, and low humidity."
Multiple forest trails, including 1168 (Luna Lake), 1168.1A (Fish Hawk), and 1182, have already been torched.
The wildfire started on Sunday (September 6th) and the cause is being attributed to lightning.
While the fire has experienced rapid growth jumping from 137 acres mid-day Monday to 3,522 acres as of 7:00 p.m. on Monday – firefighters may soon get an assist from Mother Nature.
"Blowing snow and smoke through the day. Just weird, but better than yesterday," the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland tweeted on Tuesday morning.
Rain and snow falling across parts of the state on Tuesday could help firefighters currently battling several unruly blazes including the Cameron Peak Fire. This 102,596 acre-blaze is located northwest of Fort Collins, burning on the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests near Cameron Pass and Chambers Lake. It's one of the largest wildfires ever recorded in the state's history and has been growing in recent days.
Southwest of the mountain town of Fraser, the Williams Fork Fire is also burning at 12,157 acres and 10% containment.