Steamboat Springs North Routt County residents may see smoke from a wildfire burning in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness Area.
Routt National Forest spokesman Aaron Voos said the fire is about 1 mile south of the Three Island Lake trailhead.
He said a plane flew over to evaluate the fire Tuesday evening, and the fire is burning in heavy timber, including beetle-killed lodgepole pine. It is burning on a steep east-facing slope of the south fork of the Elk River.
"They could see visible flames," Voos said. "They didn't have a good idea of the size because of the smoke."
Voos said firefighters were monitoring the fire, but crews were not going in Tuesday night.
He said hikers and campers were being told to leave the area, and there is a high likelihood that areas around the fire would be closed.
According to a daily briefing Tuesday from the Craig Interagency Dispatch Center, lightning strikes had been detected in the Zirkel Wilderness in the previous 24 hours.
A second fire was discovered Tuesday in the Routt National Forest. The Camp Creek Fire had burned about 7 acres north of the Wyoming border in the Pinkham area.
To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland
Mount Zirkel Wilderness Area wildfire