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Pine Gulch Fire

Unit Information

Grand Junction Field Office
Bureau of Land Management
2815 H Road Grand Junction Colorado 81506
CO

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Pine Gulch Fire Update September 7, 2020

Pine Gulch Fire Wildfire
News – 9/7/2020

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Southern Area Red Team – Mike Dueitt, 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: A RED FLAG WARNING has been issued today for weather conditions that may result in extreme fire behavior. While celebrating Labor Day, please check and follow current fire restrictions. Mesa County, Garfield County and the Bureau of Land Management are all under Stage 2 Fire Restrictions. This means no campfires. And it means no open flame unless fueled by gas or other liquid fuel in appropriate containers. See bit.ly/Fire_Restrictions for what else is prohibited and what is allowed at this stage. With winds shifting today, smoke from pockets burning within containment lines in the interior of the Pine Gulch Fire may be seen or smelled in areas that it has not for the past several days. Smoke is also blowing into the area from fires in California and the Uinta Mountains of Utah.

Drivers on Highway 139, especially in the Douglas Pass area, should use caution today as firefighting equipment and personnel will be in the area.

Current Situation: Firefighters continue to monitor, patrol and mop up the Pine Gulch Fire. They are vigilant for active fire behavior under Red Flag Warning conditions. The infrared flight over the fire yesterday still showed some areas of heat within containment lines and these interior areas will continue to flare up and burn today. Firefighters will monitor containment lines to watch for flareups. This includes Highway 139 at the northwest corner of the fire (Division D), where no fire outside current containment is expected as due to Hwy 139 and previous burn operations securing containment in this area. Hand crews continue to work with heavy equipment to mop up along the southern rim of the East Salt Creek main canyon at the northern edge of the fire in Division E.

Assessing and repairing damage from fire suppression continues throughout the fire perimeter and interior to ensure that actions taken to fight the fire, such as building firelines, do not have long-lasting impacts to natural resources. Good progress is being made, including repair along Roan Creek Road (204) and the Douglas Pass area.

Firefighters also have an eye on tonight’s cold front moving in, which has potential for rain, and snow at high elevations. Wet conditions may temporarily prevent firefighters and heavy equipment safe access to some fire areas, but cooler and moisture conditions are expected to help with both firefighting and suppression repair work overall.

Weather Forecast and Fire Behavior: A RED FLAG WARNING has been issued for weather conditions that may result in extreme fire behavior. Critical fire weather conditions are expected this afternoon and early evening as winds increase and gust to over 35 mph and humidity drops below 10 percent. Mostly sunny today, becoming partly cloudy in the afternoon with high temperatures at low elevations near 90 degrees and at high elevations in the mid 80’s. Relative humidity will be 8-14 percent. Winds will be from the west northwest, 6-12 mph, increasing in the afternoon to 10-20 mph on ridges. Wind gusts will be up to 35 mph and the air will be unstable. Winds will shift to the north and northeast late tonight as a strong cold front drops south out of Wyoming and across Western Colorado. Much colder conditions are expected for Tuesday and Wednesday with scattered showers. Snow levels will be near 8000 feet, although no significant snowfall accumulations are expected at this time.

No fire perimeter growth is expected today as smoldering and creeping fire activity will continue within containment lines. For four days, relative humidity has been below 30 percent, so isolated pockets of burning live and dead vegetation will continue to burn and may be visible in the fire’s interior. Surface fire and isolated single tree torching is possible. Firefighters are monitoring these pockets to ensure they pose no threat to containment lines. With a Red Flag Warning, new starts could lead to rapid fire growth, with winds potentially causing short-range spotting up to 0.2 miles.

Area Closure: A Bureau of Land Management area closure is in effect for lands managed by the agency in the fire area. Areas are closed beyond the following road junctions:


• 266 Road at Highway 139• County Road 200 at County Line• 21 Road at entrance to Hunter Canyon• 16 Road at V8/10 Road • County (Roan Creek) Road 204 at 209 intersection• End of V2/10 Road at BLM closure• Q 5/10 Road at 18 Road • Garvey Canyon Road
 
For more information, see www.facebook.com/BLMColoradoFire

Open Areas: • County Road 256 east of Douglas Pass • Base of Bookcliffs • Coal Canyon • North Fruita Desert, 18 Road, campground and bike trails • V 2/10 Road north of the Wild Horse Management Area • Mount Garfield hiking trail to foot travel

Emergency Alerts: For Garfield County, please visit garco911.com. Mesa County alerts, please visit bit.ly/Emergency_Alerts.

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: 139,007 acres

Containment: 87%

Total personnel: 390

Location: Approximately 18 miles north of Grand Junction, CO

Reported: July 31, approximately 5:15 p.m. Cause: Lightning

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.

Email: 2020.PineGulch@firenet.gov

Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6906/

Facebook: https://facebook.com/PineGulchFireCO

Interactive fire map: https://arcg.is/W0izr

Highway information: https://cotrip.org/home.htm


Equipment and Personnel
: 3 Type 2 hand crews, 2 helicopters, 8 engines, 6 bulldozers, 4 water tenders, 1 masticator 1 skidgen and overhead/support personnel

 

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