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Bull Draw Fire

Unit Information

Uncompahgre Field Office
Bureau of Land Management
2465 S. Townsend Ave.
Montrose, CO 81401

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Incident Contact

Bull Draw Fire Information
Phone: 970-578-0213

Firefighter and engine at Bull Draw Fire.Image options: [ Full Size ]

Bull Draw Fire Update

August 19, 2018 - 10:00 a.m.

Minnesota Incident Command System Type 2 Blue Team

Brian Pisarek, Incident Commander

Bull Draw Fire Statistics:

Start Date: July 29, 2018 Location: 12 miles northwest of Nucla, CO Size: 28,390 acres

Percent Contained: 21% Total Personnel: 312 Cause: Lightning

Special Notes: Tuesday, August 21st will be the Minnesota Incident Command System Type 2 Blue Team’s last day managing the Bull Draw Fire. The normal time an Incident Management Team is assigned to a fire is between 14 and 21 days, after which they return home to rest and prepare for their next assignment. An orderly transfer of command will occur with another highly qualified team, which will then lead the over 300 personnel who remain on this incident. Paramount in this planning is ensuring that the fire, our firefighters and residents of local communities remain in good hands. Information sources, such as Facebook, Inciweb and the fire information phone line will remain the same.

Weather: Breezy winds are expected again today. Drier conditions will continue through Monday, with moisture beginning to return to the area on Tuesday. Daytime minimum relative humidity values will remain at critical levels into Tuesday. Today’s weather outlook is for mostly sunny skies this morning, becoming partly cloudy by afternoon with a 0% chance of showers and thunderstorms. Afternoon winds will be 12-17mph from the north with gusts up to 25mph. High temperatures for the day are expected to be 76-81 on the ridge tops and 82-87 in the valleys. The relative humidity will drop to 11-16% this afternoon.

Current Situation: The fire grew by 260 acres yesterday. This growth was mostly a result of the fire pushing further into Long Canyon, and fire backing into previously unburned islands of vegetation inside the fire perimeter.

Today, crews will be working to further secure the fireline around the southeastern corner of the fire. Weather permitting, crews will be burning out the unburned vegetation between the fire’s edge and our “indirect” control line along the Divide Road. Today’s “burnout” operation will begin where the handline up from the 2004 Campbell burn scar meets the Divide Road, then proceed north along the road. Once the vegetation adjacent to the indirect control line has been burned, it starves the approaching main fire of fuel, effectively stopping its spread. Crews continue to hold the fire west of the Divide Road.

Crews and engines continue to patrol and mop-up the remaining hotspots below the Divide Road and around the fire’s southern perimeter. The western flank of the fire continues to slowly progress towards natural fire barriers. The western flank of the fire remains unstaffed, allowing resources to be utilized on higher priority areas. Three masticators continue thinning the forest edge and removing understory fuels along the Uranium Road as part of our strategy to contain the northwestern flank of the fire.

Closures: BLM and National Forest lands, roads and trails affected by the Bull Draw Fire are closed to public use. For details go to:

For early season hunters in Unit 61 who may be impacted by the Bull Draw Fire: If you have questions regarding your early season license options you can contact Colorado Parks & Wildlife at the Montrose office at 970-252-6000.

Fire Restrictions: Stage 1 Fire Restrictions are in effect for: National Forest lands on the Uncompahgre Plateau and Grand Mesa, BLM lands within the Uncompahgre Plateau Resource Area, unincorporated lands within Montrose and Mesa Counties. Specific fire restriction information can be found at – GMUG Info:, Mesa County Fire Info:, and Montrose County Fire Info:

Public health info: Smoke from various fires around the state of Colorado and other western states will continue to impact this area. For a detailed daily air quality summary, visit:

Information Center: 970-578-0213 (hours of operation: 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.)

For recorded info on area wildfires:

970-240-1070 (BLM Southwest Colorado Fire and Aviation Management Unit Information Line), and

970-874-6602 (GMUG Fire Information) which includes information on Forest Service road closures

Media Information Line: 720-593-9939

Bull Draw Fire Website: GMUG Email:

Bull Draw Fire Facebook: GMUG Twitter:

Bull Draw Fire Email:

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
Date of OriginSunday July 29th, 2018 approx. 10:00 AM
Location12 miles NW Nucla
Incident CommanderBrian Pisarek
Coordinates38.457 latitude, -108.665 longitude

Current Situation

Total Personnel312
Size28,390 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained21%
Estimated Containment DateSaturday September 15th, 2018 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved

Timber (Litter and Understory)

Brush (2 feet)

Significant Events




Short Crown Runs


Planned Actions

A value driven suppression strategy that will utilize perimeter control (direct, indirect, and point protection tactics) when and where there is a high probability of success, and firefighter exposure is commensurate with the identified value at risk. The top priority will be to control the above tactics to protect all private property. Natural barriers, roads, and trails will be assessed to support the strategy of containing and controlling the Bull Draw Fire. Utilize the Divide Road, natural barriers, constructed line and two-track roads as east perimeter. The Divide and Uranium Roads as north and Northwest. Utilize BLM road network south and west of fire.

Projected Incident Activity

12 hours:

Continued growth expected along the north, and moderate growth to the east. Fire will continue to push upslope, flank cross slope, and threaten structures to the north and south. Threat to cow camp and communication towers exist. North and northwest winds could test the lines along the southern perimeter.

24 hours:

Continued growth expected along the north perimeter. Fire will continue to push upslope, flank cross slope, and threaten structures to the north. NW portion of the fire also has potential to push south and southeast with predicted stronger winds. Threat to cow camp and communication tower on the north end of the fire.

48 hours: Potential for fire to push east towards the Divide Road. Fire will push through the drainages of the mesas.

72 hours: If predicted moisture moves in by Tuesday, and fire reaches less volatile fuels at higher elevations, fire behavior will decrease.

Anticipated after 72 hours: Moderate growth


Mesa county acres burned- USFS 8008, BLM 2048, and Private 234. Montrose county acres burned- USFS

9132, BLM 7888, and Private 10.

Current Weather

Weather Concerns

Mostly sunny in the morning. Partly cloudy in the afternoon. Maximum temperatures will top out between 82 and 87 degrees (cooler above 8500 feet: 79 to 84 degrees) with minimum relative humidity values of 12 to 17 percent. Winds will be North to Northeast at 5 to 10 mph early in the morning, becoming North 7 to 12 mph by late morning and increasing to 12 to 17 mph with gusts to around 25 mph in the afternoon. The Haines Index will be a 4. LAL 1. CWR 0 percent.

Warm and dry conditions continue Monday. Monsoon moisture begins to return the region on Tuesday, with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Daytime high temperatures will top out in the 80s (cooler above 8500 feet: mid 70s to lower 80s). Minimum relative humidity values will fall to between 9 and 17 percent.