Grand Junction Field Office
Bureau of Land Management
2815 H Road Grand Junction Colorado 81506
Pine Gulch Fire Update
August 29, 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 Notes: Today is the last day the Rocky Mountain Type 1 Incident Management Team will be in command of the Pine Gulch Fire. At 6 a.m. on Sunday, Aug 30, the Southern Area Type 1 Red Team will assume command of the fire. Members of the Southern Area team are shadowing their counterparts on the Rocky Mountain team today. The Rocky Mountain team is grateful to coordinate with another highly skilled incident management team to ensure a smooth and thorough transition. We thank this community for its incredible show of support during our time here.
Current Situation: Suppression repair is now the main activity on the Pine Gulch Fire. Resource Advisors will help direct efforts to repair dozer lines and minimize damage to soil, water, and other resources impacted by fire suppression activities. Backhaul of heavy machinery and structure protection equipment is nearly complete in Divisions K, Z, and A; these divisions are in patrol and monitor status. Likewise, Division L will remove equipment and focus will shift to suppression repair. Crews will continue monitoring uncontained fire edge on the south and west. There is still some heat in these areas, but there has been no fire movement for many days. Firefighters are completing work on the handline in the East Salt Creek area in Division F; they will mop-up and secure this edge over the coming days. Because of the dangerous terrain in this area, there is a Rapid Extraction Module (REM) assigned to support firefighters if needed. The REM can extract patients from difficult, steep terrain in the unfortunate event of firefighter injury. The team consists of paramedics and EMTs who are trained in rope rescue and mechanical advantage rigging systems. There have only been a few minor injuries of firefighters on the Pine Gulch Fire to date such as a scratched eye, a cut hand, and a twisted ankle. We are happy to report no major injuries.
While fire activity has decreased significantly on the Pine Gulch Fire, unburned fuels in the interior may continue to burn and smolder for quite some time, and smoke may be visible when this happens. It will take a season-ending event such as significant, sustained rainfall (or even snow) for the fire to be completely “out”. This may not take place until mid-September, October, or even as late as November.
Weather & Fuel Conditions: Lingering showers and thunderstorms will be possible in the morning. Clouds will decrease in the late morning, allowing temperatures to rise and increasing the chance of afternoon thunderstorm development. Any thunderstorms that do develop may produce wind gusts up to 40 mph. There is a 30% chance of wetting rain today, up to 1/10 inch. Maximum temperatures are around 90 with minimum relative humidity 19-22%. Winds are from the east-northeast turning west 8-12 mph with gusts to 19. Winds in the southwest area of the fire may come from the southwest. Rainfall may continue into next week. As the chance of rainfall increases, so does the threat of flash flooding and debris flow. Any new fire starts in the vicinity still have significant potential for growth.
Evacuations and Pre-Evacuations: Evacuations and pre-evacuations are changing in Garfield County as fire activity decreases. Please go to: www.garfield-county.com and scroll down to the “evacuations” tab for the most recent updates. 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 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. Some BLM lands in the fire area are still closed. Please see: www.facebook.com/BLMColoradoFire
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 139,006 acres
Total Personnel: 753
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, 7 Type 2 hand crews, 6 helicopters, 41 engines, 11 bulldozers,
22 water tenders, and overhead/support personnel