Grizzly Creek Fire update for Sunday
As of Sunday, September 6, there are 439 firefighting personnel working on the 32,464-acre Grizzly Creek Fire.
• 6 crews – 2 Type 1; 2 Type 2IA; 2 Type 2
• helicopters – 2 Type 1; 1 Type 2; 1 Type 3
• 28 engines – 4 Type 3; 24 Type 6
• 5 dozers
• 4 water tenders
• 1 skidgine
• 6 excavators
• 1 chipper
As forecast, patches of the Grizzly Creek Fire perked up in the hotter, drier weather. Visible smoke popped up on both sides of Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon on Saturday as unburned pockets of vegetation occasionally ignited, producing small columns of smoke that attracted firefighter and public attention.
Similar fire behavior and critical fire weather is expected today. Temperatures will climb into the mid 90s, relative humidities could drop into the single digits and 20-25 mph wind gusts are expected to blow out of the west.
The forecast prompted the National Weather Service in Grand Junction to issue a Red Flag Warning on Monday from noon to 9 p.m.
The primary culprits putting up smoke on Saturday – and likely today, too – were the No Name Creek drainage on the north side of the highway near Mile 124 and the Ike Creek drainage south of the interstate near Mile 129. Interior smokes like these are expected to continue until a season-ending rain or snow event, which could be on the horizon early next week.
Temperatures are forecast to drop dramatically on Tuesday and below freezing by Wednesday with a chance of rain mixed with snow.
Noting the extreme weather forecast, Deputy Incident Commander Tom Kurth with the Alaska Type 1 Incident Management Team said the strategy is “to hold fast as critical conditions prevail while anticipating the rapidly deteriorating conditions predicted on Tuesday.”
Fire managers with the Alaska IMT continue prepping for a transition to a smaller Type 3 team. The number of personnel has dropped to 439. The tactical line-up is down to six crews, four helicopters and 28 engines and will continue to shrink.
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