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West Fork Complex News Release

West Fork Complex July 13 Update

Incident: West Fork Complex Wildfire
Released: 7/13/2013

Great Basin Incident Management Team 1 – Beth Lund, Incident CommanderFire Information Phone: 719-569-4149· (as of Sunday, 7-14 this number goes to voice mail only. Calls will be returned as quickly as possible.)Hours of operation: 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.Email: WestForkFire.EastZone@gmail.com

July 13, 2013 9:00 a.m.

Special Message: Plans are to lift the TFR, Temporary Flight Restrictions, by the end of today.

Current Situation: Last night much of the complex received approximately one tenth of an inch of precipitation.

Weather (North of the Continental Divide): The relative humidity will be slightly increased today remaining in the lower to mid 40% range. There will be a chance for isolated thunderstorms in the afternoon beginning at noon to 1 p.m. The extended outlook includes the chance for scattered thunderstorms over the next few days. A potentially heavy rain storm with significant precipitation is predicted for Sunday night through Monday morning. Flash flood watches with potential ash and/or debris flows remain in place in all three fire areas.

Two, Type 3 helicopters remain dedicated to monitoring and when needed, provide bucket drops and other fire support for this complex. Air Operations are being relocated today to Creede.

We believe all structure protection equipment, portable tanks, pumps, sprinklers and hoses have all been picked up. If any member of the public comes across some of this fire equipment that may have been missed or overlooked, please call 719-569-4149 and notify us of the item(s) and their location so they may be recovered.

Papoose Fire: Continued scattered interior heat on the fire is being monitored. Crews will be working along the 520 road and several trails doing saw work to minimize the “snag”, falling dead or damaged trees along these popular travel routes.

West Fork Fire (North of the Continental Divide): There are minimal areas of heat on this part of the fire. Fire control efforts will be mainly monitor and patrol of the burn area. Rehabilitation work continues on the old two track road that cuts across the top of the West Fork Fire and drops down into the Elk Creek Ranch.

West Fork Fire (South of the Continental Divide): There are minimal areas of heat on this part of the fire. The Big Meadows campground has reopened, but only the lower campgrounds are available, roads remain closed for the higher elevation areas and campgrounds due to snag and other fire related dangers.

Windy Pass Fire: Eastern side of the fire continues to hold some heat and the fire remains in patrol/monitoring status.

Public Health and Safety:

You can expect to see smoke across parts of the fire for the next several days to weeks. The rains and monsoon associated winds have gone a long way towards clearing the air. For the Colorado Smoke Outlook, visit http://www.colorado.gov/airquality/colo_advisory.aspx or http://www.colorado.gov/airquality/wildfire.aspx for more information.

Area Road and Trail Closures:

For information on road and trail closures and fire restrictions affecting the San Juan National Forest go to: http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/sanjuan/alerts-notices.

For information on road and trail closures and fire restrictions affecting the Rio Grande National Forest go to: http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/riogrande/.

Fire Statistics:

Location: 14.5 miles north/northeast of Pagosa Springs, CO Start Date: 06/05/2013

Complex Size: 109,615 acres Percent Contained: 50%

Windy Pass: 1,417 acres Cause: Lightning

Papoose: 49,628 acres Total Personnel: 495

West Fork: 58,570 acres

Resources Include: 1 Type-1 hand crews 9 Type-2 hand crews, 20 engines, 6 water tenders, and 166 overhead personnel.Air Resources: 2 Type 3-helicopters.

Information Traplines:

Today will be the final day the fire information team will be posting fire information updates at area businesses in Creede and South Fork. Beth Lund’s Great Basin Incident Management Team 1 would like to thank all the communities for their kind support of our firefighters and the local businesses and agencies for assisting us in sharing the changing status of this incident with the visitors and residents of this beautiful area.

For more information:

Blog: http://westforkfirecomplex.blogspot.com/ | Website: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3436/Twitter: @RioGrandeUSFS | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GreatBasinPhotos: http://s1286.photobucket.com/user/WestForkComplex/library/

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Unit Information

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San Juan National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
15 Burnett Court
Durango, CO 81301

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National Wildfire Coordinating Group U.S. Forest Service Bureau of Land Managemen Bureau of Indian Affairs Fish and Wildlife Service National Park Service National Association of State Foresters U.S. Fire Administration
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