The Coal Seam fire is officially out. The Coal Seam and two other wildfires started in the Flat Tops last summer. The Spring Creek and Big Fish fires were declared extinguished December 13th. That's more than a month after fire officials called the fires controlled. The declaration caps a hectic fire season for the White River National Forest, where 53 fires burned 44,000 acres, about 10 times more than in an average fire season. The Coal Seam fire burned on 12-thousand-209 acres after it was sparked June 8th by an underground coal fire that has been burning since at least 1910. The fire destroyed 29 homes. Lightning ignited the other two fires. White River National Forest fire management officer Bob Leighty said enough snow has fallen that the fires shouldn't flare up again in the spring.
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