Fire crews work on new containment lines | PostIndependent.com

Fire crews work on new containment lines

A large column of smokes rises up from the Cabin Lake fire Tuesday evening as a chinook helicopter flies away from the smoke.
Scott Bovey / Incident Commander-Type 3

Crews worked to get containment back up for the Cabin Lake and Cache Creek Fires on Wednesday after both fires broke through their containment lines.

According to fire managers on the Cache Creek Fire southwest of Rifle, crews worked throughout the day Monday to contain the spot fire that started Sunday evening in the Cache Creek drainage.

The fire burning 8 miles southwest of Rifle near Battlement Creek Road increased in acreage from a little over 1,700 acres Sunday to 2,544 acres as of Wednesday. Containment decreased from 60 percent Sunday to 40 percent as of Wednesday.

Crews took advantage of cloudy skies and higher humidity to build new containment lines on the fire, according to the statement.

Two hand crews, two Garfield County bulldozers, two engines, a water tender and two Colorado National Guard Blackhawk helicopters worked throughout the day Wednesday to suppress the fire, the statement says.

The line was strengthened in the Cache Creek drainage east of Cache Creek Road. West of Cache Creek Road new lines were scouted for initial dozer construction to the ridge, according to the crews.

When the fire crossed into the Battlement Creek drainage, managers gathered to develop a plan to contain it.

While pre-evacuation notices remain in effect for six structures near the fire, an abandoned structure in Cache Creek was lost to the fire Sunday.

On Wednesday, crews will further the line on the west flank in upper Cottonwood Creek and firefighters will continue using helicopter drops on the fire burning in the Cache Creek drainage.

“Firefighters will begin building containment lines on the fire burning high above the Battlement Creek drainage,” the statement says. “Firefighters also will be monitoring other containment lines watching for spot fires across the line.”

There will be a Cache Creek Fire public meeting Thursday evening at the Grand Valley Fire Protection District Station No. 1 in Parachute. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the meeting will begin at 6 p.m.

Sixteen miles southwest of Meeker, the Cabin Lake fire has reached 3,700 acres as containment decreased to 35 percent.

The Southern Area Incident Management Gold Team assumed command of the fire at 6 a.m. Wednesday as they look to minimize fire spread and put out spot fires outside existing containment lines, the statement says.

On Tuesday, Rio Blanco County Sheriff Anthony Mazzola issued a mandatory evacuation for County Road 10. A pre-evacuation warning remains in effect for County Road 17. As of Wednesday, the total personnel working on the fire reached 313.