Crews continue to hit Lake Christine Fire north side; containment up | PostIndependent.com

Crews continue to hit Lake Christine Fire north side; containment up

David Krause
The Aspen Times
A map of the Lake Christine Fire from the Friday morning, July 27, update.

Crews will continue Friday to develop fire lines on the northern edge of the Lake Christine Fire and look for ways to get crews on the northeastern corner, officials said in Friday morning’s update.

In the morning video update, Operations Section Chief trainee Rob Berger with Rocky Mountain Team Black said the structures in the upper Cattle Creek Road area are secured and then pointed out the area on the corner of the fire where they want to hit on the ground.

“We’re trying to figure out how to get crews up to (that) line,” he said. “We expect progress along those lines.”

In an update at 10:30 a.m. Friday, the fire was reported at 12,286 acres and up to 45 percent containment (from 39 percent Thursday), according to the InciWeb site. Officials said earlier this week they hope to be at full containment by Aug. 2.

Friday is expected to be the hottest day of the week, with temperatures on either side of 90 degrees, and there is a concern of high winds gusting as high as 30 mph in the afternoon, according to the command team’s forecast.

Officials said a community meeting is schedule for 6 p.m. Saturday at Basalt High School.

Berger said Friday the crews are bringing the fire lines down to the road and by the drop point 15 at the corner of the County 509 Road. Hand crews, bulldozers and air drops will continue working heavily on Friday.

“We feel more confident every day,” Berger said after Thursday work.

On Thursday, air crews dropped 54,600 gallons of water and 35,500 gallons of retardant on the north side using the mobile base set up near Missouri Heights, officials said Friday. That work, using six helicopters, will continue Friday.

In addition to the community meetings, there are Public Information Officers hosting fire updates daily at four locations in the valley: the Carbondale and El Jebel City Markets each day at noon; at Willits Park 4 p.m. daily; and on Frying Pan Road just east of Stackyard Lane (by the roadside information board) at 4 p.m. daily.

The cost of the fire was estimated at $10 million as of earlier this week.