Cascade Fire 80 percent contained Tuesday
Post Independent Staff
The Cascade II Fire continued to burn above No Name Tuesday, and remained at 30 acres and 80 percent contained as of 6:30 p.m.
“We did get some rain up here, so that will help. There is a lot of lightning, too, so hopefully the rain helped us,” said fire spokesperson Renee Brousseau.
“Our goal today is to anchor it down and work on hot spots in the middle,” she said. The aim was to keep the fire within the drainage, which runs north to south and enters the Colorado River just west of the No Name Tunnels.
The fire is burning in the Cascade Creek drainage west of the No Name tunnels. It started about 100 yards off the bike and pedestrian path on the west side of the No Name Tunnels around 9:30 a.m. Monday and quickly traveled uphill in the area of the Cascade I Fire that burned approximately 15 acres in the same area in 2000.
A helicopter continued to dip its bucket into the Colorado River and drop water on the fire Tuesday.
According to Brousseau, 70 fire fighters, including the Roosevelt Hot Shots from Fort Collins and the Juniper Valley crew from the Rifle Correctional Center, were on the ground, along with members of the Burning Mountains, Carbondale, Eagle, Gypsum and Glenwood Springs fire departments, the Garfield County Sheriffs Department and a crew from the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management center. Brousseau said the number of personnel would be reduced to about 40 today.
Brousseau said the fire settled down overnight with a drop in temperature. “There was not much activity through the night,” she said.
The greatest concern Tuesday was the danger of falling rock on slopes above Interstate 70 denuded by the fire.
The bike path between No Name and the Vapor Caves remains closed as does the right-hand westbound lane of I-70.
“There are some really large boulders falling down on the bike path,” Brousseau said.
After a voluntary evacuation Monday, the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park reopened Tuesday. The fire came within a half-mile of the park Monday, she said.
The cause of the fire is unknown and still under investigation by the city of Glenwood Springs and the Upper Colorado agency. Rumors were rampant Tuesday, with speculation about the cause of the fire ranging from sparks from nearby electric lines to a controlled burn getting out of hand to being set accidentally by one of the homeless people who live in a nearby cave.
“We’re not ruling anything out right now,” Brousseau said.
Fire officials remain concerned with smoke settling into Glenwood Springs, No Name and along I-70 and urge drivers to exercise extreme caution.
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