The Ryan Fire was reported late Saturday night, Sept. 15 and one day later has burned 1,832 acres of National Forest at the Colorado/Wyoming state line.
Point of origin for the fire is in Jackson County, Colo. in the extreme northern tip of the Mount Zirkel Wilderness, Routt National Forest. However, as of Sunday evening, Sept. 16 the fire had burned northeast and had crossed the state line into Carbon County, Wyo. and the Medicine Bow National Forest.
After discovery, helicopters and fire crews were initially able to implement suppression efforts on the fire until high winds fueled rapid fire growth mid-day Sunday, forcing personnel and aerial resources to disengage. At that point, efforts were focused on evacuating hunters and campers that were nearby. As of Sunday evening, it was reported that all known, occupied camps and hunters in the path of the fire had been successfully evacuated.
Due to extreme fire growth on Sunday, a broad area closure has been put in place by the U.S. Forest Service. This time of year, the main public impact of an area closure is to hunters. The Ryan Fire area closure will affect game management unit 161 in Colorado, and in Wyoming, elk area 13 and deer area 81.
Within the area closure is the entire east/west length of Forest Road 80, a portion of the Mount Zirkel Wilderness, and the Hog Park Guard Station in Jackson County, Colo. In Carbon County, Wyo. the area closure includes the south side of Forest Roads 496 and 404, as well as the area around Blackhall Mountain.
Smoke from the Ryan Fire was widely visible on Sunday from locations throughout northern Colorado and southern Wyoming. The fire origin is approximately 20 miles northwest of Walden, Colo., three miles southeast of Hog Park Guard Station, two miles south of the state line, and two miles west of Buffalo Ridge Trailhead.
As complexity of the fire has quickly increased, so has elevation of management, beginning with Type IV at initial response, Type III command will be in place on Monday, and then transfer to Rocky Mountain Black Type II Incident Management Team on Tuesday.
It is approximated that 50 personnel are now working the fire, with more on the way.
No structures have been destroyed by the fire or are immediately at risk. The nearest structures to the fire are approximately three miles to the northeast in Wyoming at Big Creek and Jerry Parks.
There is no current containment of the Ryan Fire. The blaze is burning mainly lodgepole pine, both live and bug-killed timber. Cause of the fire is under investigation and no injuries have been reported.
Fire managers are implementing a full suppression strategy to fight the fire and will take direct actions where it is effective and safe to do so, with the highest probability of success.