Tue August 28, 2012

Crews Try to Contain Growing Larimer County Wildfire

Crews are battling a growing wildfire in a remote part of northwestern Larimer County just south of the Wyoming border. 

The Roach Fire has grown to about 200 acres this afternoon and it’s being fueled by dead trees in forests hit hard by the mountain pine beetle epidemic. 

But Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forests spokeswoman Reghan Cloudman says the blaze is currently some six miles from any structures.

"We have about 100 people and they’ve seen that fire activity has actually moderated some this afternoon from this morning so that’s definitely a positive that we can take away from today," Cloudman says.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. 

In Colorado, wildfires typically spark in late spring and early summer but are doused by the monsoon thunderstorms, which then go away around this time of the year and the wildfire risk returns.

"And we’re seeing that, we’re seeing a lot of parts of the Front Range getting drier," Cloudman says.

Fire danger across most of the Arapaho-Roosevelt forest is once again listed as "high" and USFS officials say they don't want to take any chances given the increasingly dry conditions and the fuel load as a result of the mountain pine beetle epidemic. 

The Roach Fire is the latest wildfire for Larimer County this summer. In June, fanned by erratic winds and historically dry conditions, the nearby High Park and Woodland Heights fires destroyed close to 300 homes.