FRIDAY NIGHT FIRES UPDATE: Grizzly Fire reaches 22% containment, Pine Gulch is 19% contained |

FRIDAY NIGHT FIRES UPDATE: Grizzly Fire reaches 22% containment, Pine Gulch is 19% contained

A helicopter takes off from I-70 among the scorched earth around the highway from the Grizzly Creek Fire outside of Glenwood Springs on Thursday, August 20, 2020. (Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times)
Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times

UPDATE 8:45 p.m. Friday — Containment of the Grizzly Creek Fire doubled Friday from 11% to 22% heading into Friday night. The Grizzly Creek Fire was 29,928 acres Friday night — a slight decrease in size from earlier Friday.

Containment of the Pine Gulch Fire also increased, albeit at a smaller rate, to 19%. The Pine Gulch Fire was 125,191 acres in size Friday night, showing growth of fewer than 300 acres Friday.

UPDATE 3:30 p.m. Friday — This afternoon, the Blue Ridge Hotshots are conducting a firing operation in the Bair Ranch area of the fire. “The public can expect to see smoke that may be heavy at times,” according to the latest firefighting activity report from incident command.

Meanwhile, firefighters in No Name today are using a wood chipper to help clear out tree limbs, branches and brush that were cut down last week as part of the effort to reduce fire danger around homes there, incident command also reports.

“The chipping operation is a part of the incident management team’s effort to repair and rehabilitate areas where fire mitigation and suppression tactics have been implemented,” according to the report.

Residents of No Name were evacuated Aug. 11. That evacuation order remains in effect.

UPDATE 11 a.m. Friday — The Grizzly Creek Fire burning in and on either side of Glenwood Canyon is now reported to be 11% contained, and grew by a small amount on Thursday to 29,992 acres.

According to the Friday morning update from the Great Basin Type 1 Incident Command Team, firefighters on Thursday continued to build direct and indirect fire line and strengthened existing containment lines around the fire.

“Thunderstorms brought rain to the east side of the fire in the Bair Ranch area, which slowed fire progression,” according to the morning report post to the incident Facebook page. “However, hot, dry and windy conditions persisted west of I-70 where the fire remained more active.”

Similar weather is expected Friday, which will likely increase fire activity. “The west side (Glenwood Springs area) of the fire remains hot and dry and can expect active fire behavior,” according to the morning report.

#GrizzlyCreekFire Operational Update with Operations Section Chief Jeff Surber.

Posted by Grizzly Creek Fire on Friday, August 21, 2020
Check out today’s Incident Command Operational Update with Operations Section Chief Jeff Surber.

Pine Gulch Fire update

Meanwhile, the Pine Gulch Fire burning north and west of DeBeque on the Garfield-Mesa county line has grown to 124,934 acres and is now 17% contained, according to the Friday morning update on the western Colorado fire.

“Firefighters are still witnessing active fire behavior due to historically dry conditions and receptive fuels,” according to the latest report from Pine Gulch incident command. The fire is now the second-largest in Colorado history.

“Excessive heat warnings continue throughout western and central Colorado, with a highs near 96 in Grand Valley. Smokey conditions are expected to continue Friday across portions of central and western Colorado, especially in the Grand Valley,” according to the report.

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