Grand Junction Field Office
Bureau of Land Management
2815 H Road Grand Junction Colorado 81506
Pine Gulch Fire Update
August 22, 2020 – 9:30 a.m.
Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team - Dan Dallas, Incident Commander
Information Center: (970) 628-0130, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Media Inquiries: (970) 812-3706, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Special Notes: There will be a Virtual Community Meeting on Monday, August 24, at 6 p.m. Stay tuned for Zoom
log-in information and monitor our social media sites.
Current Situation: There is a small chance of thunderstorms developing to the west after 2 p.m. today, which could produce outflow winds up to 20 mph and cause active fire behavior.
Strategic burning operations have been successful over the past several days, and these operations will be vital moving forward as firefighters work to limit the spread of the Pine Gulch Fire. Precision, patience, and deliberate action will be key as firefighters work to remove fuel ahead of the fire.
At the Division B/A break, crews completed burning operations overnight, bringing fire down toward the old Hunter Fire burn scar. This area is holding well, and firefighters will now hold and reinforce control line. There is still heat in the fire’s edge on the south and southwest in Division B, and direct tactics are not a safe option in this topography. Crews are monitoring fire in this area as it slowly moves toward natural barriers and lighter fuels where it will be safer to engage. Structure protection is in place and complete for structures between the fire and Hwy 139 in Division B.
The focus of today’s operations will be from the edge of Division D, moving into Division E. Last night, crews began slow and deliberate burning operations along a ridge on the 266 Road that runs east/west between the fire and Hwy 139. They began their work near some rock scree at the east end of the 266 Road and were able to bring fire approximately one mile west along the road. Conditions allowing, firefighters will continue this operation today, working to bring fire west along the 266 Road and connect it to Hwy 139. The goal is to limit fire spread toward the 256 Road, as well as to create a solid anchor point (a safe, already burned place from which firefighters can work) to address any fire that does move north toward the 256 Road. Weather and smoke allowing, aircraft will support these efforts of firefighters on the ground. Firefighters are also utilizing UAS ignitions (Unmanned Aerial Systems). UAS has been a highly successful tool on the Pine Gulch Fire, reducing the need for hand ignitions and thus limiting firefighter exposure.
Crews in Division F will keep preparing the 256 Road as well as secondary options to the north. Heavy equipment operators and hand crews are still preparing roads in Divisions F and L, and firefighters are identifying values at risk and assessing for protection needs. The western side of the 204 Road in Division K is holding well, and crews here are mopping up. There is black/contained line all along the 204 Road moving east from the intersection of the 207 Road. The entire fire edge is holding well from here moving east and south, through Division Z, and down to the bottom of Division A. Fire in Divisions Z and A has not moved further east for many days.
Weather & Fuel Conditions: High pressure remains in the region, keeping the weather hot and dry and sustaining the potential for active fire both day and night. Temperatures will be a high of 96 with relative humidity 9-11%. There is a small chance of thunderstorms developing to the west after 2 p.m., which could produce outflow winds up to 20 mph. Wind pattens are similar to previous days, coming from the northeast, then north, then northwest as the days goes on, 5-9 mph with gusts to 14. The southwest side of the fire could again see a southerly wind. Fuels remain extremely dry and receptive to active burning and spotting, and the atmosphere remains unstable.
Evacuations: Garfield County: 4A Ridge Road (256), Salt Wash (205), King Road (258), Clear Creek Road (211), Carr Creek Road (207), Kimball Creek Road (202). A pre-evacuation order is in effect for all residents of Garfield County west of CO-139 to the Utah border, and any formerly evacuated residents remain in pre-evacuation. For more information: www.garfieldcounty.net. There are currently no pre-evacuations or evacuations in Mesa County: www.sheriff.mesacounty.us/FireInformation. Closures: Roan Creek Road (204) at North Dry Fork (200). The V 2/10 Rd. at the 44 Rd, Coal Canyon Rd. just past the Cameo Shooting Range. The 21 Road north of the BLM boundary, 16 Road at V 8/10 Road, and the Q 5/10 Road is closed at 18 Rd. CO-139 Douglas Pass north of Loma from mile marker 6 to mile marker 39. BLM lands north of Loma, Fruita, Grand Junction, and Palisade. Please see: www.tinyurl.com/PineGulchBLM
Air Quality: Air Quality Health Advisories may be issued in areas near the Pine Gulch and Grizzly Creek fires. A smoke outlook for the Pine Gulch Fire is available where this update is posted and at https://fires.airfire.org/outlooks/WesternColorado. For more information on smoke levels, please visit https://airnow.gov.
Temporary Flight Restrictions: A Temporary Flight Restriction is in place over the Pine Gulch Fire. Wildfires are a No Drone Zone. If you fly, we can’t. For more information, visit http://knowbeforeyoufly.org.
Pine Gulch Fire Statistics:
Size: approximately 126,613 acres
Total Personnel: 911
Location: Approximately 18 miles north of
Grand Junction, CO
Reported: July 31, approximately 5:15 p.m.
For More Information:
Information Office: (970) 628-0130, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Media Inquiries: (970) 812-3706, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Interactive Fire Map: https://arcg.is/W0izr
Smoke Outlook: https://fires.airfire.org/outlooks/WesternColorado
Resources Include: 3 Type 1 hand crews, 9 Type 2 hand crews, 6 helicopters, 67 engines, 13 bulldozers,
25 water tenders, and overhead/support personnel