UPDATE Sunday, October 20, 2019 as of 7:00 a.m.
Date of Detection: September 8, 2019Current Size: 8723 acresContainment: 30%Location: Fire started 9 miles south of, and is now burning 2 miles south of Salida, COCause: LightningResources on Fire: There are currently 684 personnel on this incident
TYPE 1 HELICOPTERS: 4
TYPE 2 HELICOPTERS: 1
TYPE 3 HELICOPTERS: 3
WATER TENDERS: 9
• With the cold front and snow received this morning, fire behavior is expected to be low to moderate; however, single tree torching may be visible, in addition to smoke from interior fire activity in the larger diameter fuels.
• Division T (NE side) activities will continue to focus on constructing direct line in the Columbine Gulch “thumb” area, with the primary goal to allow Bear Creek residents back into their homes as soon as is safely possible.
• Division W/Y (E/SE side) crews continue to scout for possible future contingency line locations and conduct suppression repair and chipping as needed. The spot fire in the SE corner continues to display minimal, creeping activity with moderate smoke.
• Division A/X (W/SW side) crews are ensuring a solid contingency line is established to the west of the Ox Cart burn scar, as well as monitoring the “minimal risk, limited action” brown line on the N side of the burn scar, which has been extended to reflect lack of fire movement and completion of a strong contingency line.
• BLM road closures east of Highway 285 from the top of Poncha Pass south to the vicinity of Yankee Creek and Rock Creek in Saguache County were lifted at noon on Friday, October 18, and public re-entry (primarily hunters) is taking place. National Forest lands remain closed.
• Division R (N/NE side) is staging structure protection equipment and patrolling areas where neighborhoods have been repopulated. Residents can expect to see hoseline, pumps and “pumpkin” water tanks. Wind may increase activity in existing spot fires, which may be visible after dark.
Weather remains a critical factor in fire behavior. A cold front moved through the area overnight, bringing strong winds and cold temperatures, which diminished fire activity even without much measurable precipitation. Today’s lower temperatures and relative humidity (RH) will help limit fire growth, but high winds may prevent aerial operations. Gusts of 45-55 mph are predicted.
In Division A/X the large area of active fire near Simmons Peak is slowly backing its way southward, but is still within the indirect line established farther to the south. Suppression repair work continues in areas around established fireline, which helps return the land to its previous condition and minimize the environmental impact of fire suppression activities. The fire near Simmons Peak continues to back down slowly. The public may continue to see smoke from these areas, but fire officials do not anticipate significant fire movement.
In Division R, the fire along the “minimal risk, limited action” brown line is slowly backing down, and will continue to be monitored today. Crews will reset structure protection equipment in the Pinon Ridge and and Boot Hill neighborhoods, as a precaution to ensure crews can deploy equipment quickly in the event that the wind pushes spot fires over the established fireline.
Crews in Division W/Y are focusing on chipping operations and brush disposal along roadways.
Closures and Public Safety: There are road closures in Chaffee, Fremont and Saguache County. Please respect closures. San Isabel Forest closures: https://tinyurl.com/SanIsabelClosures. Rio Grande Forest closures: https://tinyurl.com/RioGrandeClosures. BLM closures: Facebook @BLMColoradoFire and https://tinyurl.com/BLMCLosure. For evacuation or pre-evacuation information, please contact the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office: 719-539-2596, or the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office: 719-276-5555 or go to the Chaffee County Sheriff or Fremont County Sheriff Facebook pages and websites.