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Firefighters battle Beaver Fire as it grows to 8.5 acres

Burning west of the Pingree Park Road and approximately 1.5 miles east of the Colorado State University Mountain Campus in Roosevelt National Forest, the Beaver Fire has burned approximately 8.5 acres and has gradually increased by 3.5 acres in size since July 2. 

Caused by lightning, the fire was 10% contained as of July 6. Firefighters have been working on site to contain the burn for the past week and there was a total of 27 firefighters working to control the fire July 4, according to a series of emails to The Collegian from Reghan Cloudman, public affairs specialist for the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland.  

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The presence of smoke in the area has been relatively low and has not had a significant impact on the campgrounds and recreational areas along the Pingree Park Road.

Over the weekend, firefighting personnel made progress containing the fire by digging an indirect line to conduct burnout operations. Indirect firefighting, or attacking the fire from a distance, has been the main approach as the terrain is too rugged to ensure firefighter safety near the burn.

An increase in smoke and lower visibility in the area is expected as personnel work to extinguish the blaze.

The fire received some precipitation July 7. Firefighters have been monitoring weather conditions to see if a burnout operation can take place, but circumstances have not allowed for a burnout operation to happen. The burnout operation may be able to take place July 9 depending on precipitation, but this is not guaranteed as a drying period is required.

On July 8, firefighters attempted to blackline the area by increasing the width of the line with fire along the east side where an indirect line was established. There was a mild increase in smoke during the blacklining. 

Anyone can follow updates on the Beaver Fire via the Arapaho Roosevelt National Forest Twitter account, @usfsarp, or the Canyon Lakes Ranger RD Twitter account, @usfsclrd.

Delaney Allen can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @DelaneyAllen0.

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