Coal Seam Fire facts and figures
The following statistics were available on the Coal Seam Fire as of 7 p.m. Sunday, June 9:-The fire, which was first reported to the Glenwood Springs Fire Department and the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 8, burned at least 7,300 acres by Sunday, and potentially as many as 10,000 acres.-Twenty-four homes and 14 outbuildings were reported damaged. No commercial buildings were destroyed. All of the losses occurred on Saturday.-The fire is believed to have been caused by a smoldering coal seam in the South Canyon area. The seam is host to an underground fire that has been burning since the mid-1970s, and has been the cause of past fires.-Approximately 2,000 residents in the West Glenwood, Midland Avenue, north Glenwood Springs to No Name, Three Mile and Four Mile Creek areas, as well as from local lodging establishments, were evacuated due to the fire. Most evacuations were conducted as a safety precaution.-Approximately 250 emergency responders, including 15 fire trucks, five ambulances, eight air tankers, six helicopters, 13 additional firefighter crews, and 100 members of the National Guard, are involved in fighting the fire and protecting area homes and businesses. Mutual aid responded from Mesa, Eagle and Pitkin counties, including from Vail, Aspen, Snowmass Village, Parachute, and Grand Junction.-No injuries have been reported as a result of this fire.-After being closed for almost 24 hours, Interstate 70 re-opened at 3 p.m. Sunday. It is open to one lane of traffic only in both the east- and west-bound lanes. The right lanes have been coned off to allow for emergency access only.-I-70 Exit 114 (West Glenwood) and 111 (South Canyon) will remain closed until further notice. Access to Glenwood Springs and points south is via Exit 116 (Glenwood Springs) only.-The Colorado State Patrol and Colorado Department of Transportation discourage travel to the Glenwood Springs area until further notice.-Motorists are urged to expect delays and possible closures until the fire is contained, drive with caution, watch for rock and other debris on area roads, and expect poor visibility due to smoke.
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The Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association is working with local businesses and organizations to celebrate the spirit of Strawberry Days with a Berry Special Weekend from June 18-20, according to a news release.