Freeman Fire near Ruedi Reservoir at 40 percent containment |

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Freeman Fire near Ruedi Reservoir at 40 percent containment

A helicopter drops water on the fire burning near Ruedi Reservoir.

A helicopter drops water on the fire burning near Ruedi Reservoir.

Now at approximately 336 acres, the Freeman Fire near Ruedi Reservoir is 40 percent contained, officials announced Tuesday morning.

Fire growth was minimal Monday and the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit reported zero growth overnight.

“We are pleased to report 40 percent containment on the Freeman Fire,” Kevin Warner, district ranger, stated in a press release. “Firefighter and public safety remain key focus areas of the operation. Yesterday’s high wind gusts created some operational challenges, but fire crews made great progress on the fireline despite the wind. Today we will focus aerial resources on the northern part of the fire to subdue flame activity.”

Wind gusts kept aerial resources on the ground for most of the day Monday. Crews on the south and west flank of the fire continued mop-up operations working in from the perimeter, identifying hotspots and dousing them with dirt and water.

Interagency Hotshot Crews completed the hand and saw line on the east flank of the fire. The fire is completely lined on the west, south and east portions of the fire up to the aspen stand at the top of the ridgeline.

The aspen stand at the northern part of the fire on the ridgeline is still actively burning and producing smoke. Incident command has decided to not use direct suppression methods with ground crews in this area due to the presence of hazard trees. Instead, two  helicopters will conduct water bucket drops throughout the morning on the aspen stand to subdue burning activity.

Within the southern half of the fire perimeter, there is minimal fire activity. Some isolated hotspots and smoke in the center of the fire perimeter still exist.

Crews will continue mop-up operations around the east, west and southern perimeter of the fire today. The weather forecast indicates milder weather which will create opportunity for aerial resources to assist with mop-up by dousing smokes and hots spots as directed by ground crews.

There are still 99 personnel on the fire for the day, however, the two Hotshot crews will be “timed out” by end of shift today leaving the fire with approximately 50 personnel.  Resources on the fire today include two type I helicopters; two, 20-person hot shot crews; two 20-person type II hand crews; three state engines and one federal engine.

There continues to be no evacuation notices or pre-evacuation notices at this time. Additionally, there are no road closures, trail closures or area closures at this time. Fire suppression operations are ongoing and staging out of the Ruedi Reservoir boat ramp area. Recreationists in the area should be advised that operations will be ongoing and movement of equipment and crews may impact the recreation experience.

Updates on the Freeman Fire can be found on INCI Web here: , the White River National Forest Facebook page or Twitter.

The Basalt and Rural Fire Protection District continues to be engaged in fire operations. Likewise, the Eagle County Sheriff’s, Pitkin County Sheriff’s Department, Snowmass-Wildcat Fire Protection District, Aspen Fire Protection District and the Carbondale and Rural Fire Protection District also have supported the effort.

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