Grand Junction Field Office
Bureau of Land Management
2815 H Road Grand Junction Colorado 81506
Pine Gulch Fire Update
August 26, 2020 – 9:00 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 Note: CDOT has opened CO 139/Douglas Pass Rd., but travelers must plan for lower speed limits and for possible future closures due to mudslides or other events. There is no stopping or standing. Watch for fire and emergency vehicles. The area is being patrolled. All updates will continue to be posted to COtrip.org and CDOT's Facebook and Twitter.
Current Situation: Outflow winds entered the fire area overnight and moved through drainages, but they did not significantly impact fire behavior or growth. Operations in East Salt Creek in Division F have been highly successful. Fire has backed down into the bottom of the drainage, and heavy equipment operators and firefighters have been able to work near the fire’s edge. During the night operational period, crews completed dozer line from Barrel Creek east to the 289 Road. Firefighters then conducted successful burning operations utilizing both hand ignitions and UAS (Unmanned Aerial System). Today and in the coming days, hotshot crews will create direct control line at the fire’s edge in the bottom of East Salt Creek. This will be pivotal in helping to prevent fire spread to the north. The terrain here is unforgiving; these highly skilled crews will work swiftly and will be aided by aircraft from above.
Elsewhere in Division F, crews and heavy equipment operators expect to complete most of their work on secondary control lines today. They will continue utilizing logging equipment to remove heavy fuels near control lines. All such preparation work is now complete in Division L.
In Division K on the north, all control line is holding well, and most of the fire perimeter here is now considered contained. Crews will be “backhauling” (removing unneeded equipment) from Division K today, both near control lines and around homes. Similar work is happening in Divisions Z and A.
At the Division A/B break, there has been a small amount of fire growth to the south, but it has not threatened the control line. The rest of Division B as well as Division D remains quiet. The fire is slowly creeping and consuming unburned fuel, but it is primarily hung up in natural features and rocks. Along Hwy 139, control line is holding well.
Yesterday, smoke columns were visible over the fire. This was primarily from pockets of unburned fuel burning well within the interior of the fire where it is not a threat. This may be seen again today.
Weather & Fuel Conditions: Thunderstorms are again forecast between 12 p.m. and midnight. There is a 15% chance of rain. Temperature highs will be in the low 90s, and relative humidity should be in the upper teens. Winds should remain light today at 6-9 mph from the north to northwest. Storms could produce gustier outflow winds up to 25 mph, and these could have a southerly component. Fuels remain dry and receptive to burning and spotting.
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. 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 135,920 acres
Total Personnel: 935
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, 10 Type 2 hand crews, 8 helicopters, 62 engines, 14 bulldozers,
24 water tenders, and overhead/support personnel