Pine Gulch Fire Update | PostIndependent.com
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Pine Gulch Fire Update

Pre-evacuation orders for western Garfield County fire expanded

Pine Gulch Fire

Overnight the fire grew to 125,100 acres after a thunderstorm moved through the area with wind gusts of more than 40 mph. Evacuations have been lifted for Pine Gulch Fire area residents along CR 204 (Roan Creek Road) who live below Brush Creek Road, and the fire remains at 7% containment. A total of 892 personnel are currently working the fire. Garfield County Sheriff’s Office announced late Tuesday afternoon that the spot fire in the northeast corner of the Pine Gulch Fire has quickly grown to more than 100 acres. According to the release the fire expansion could adversely affect area residents. 

A pre-evacuation order has been issued for the areas of County Road 205, Kimball Mountain Road and CR 256 in between Kimball Mountain Road and Browns Point. 

Garfield County Sheriff deputies have notified residents in the area of the possible need for an evacuation.

Current Situation: The total acreage on the Pine Gulch Fire is now estimated to be just over 125,000. Fire behavior specialists report that the combination of extremely dry fuels, low relative humidity, high temperatures, and terrain driven winds may continue to create extreme fire behavior that is resistant to suppression efforts. There is potential for similar thunderstorm cells to pass over the fire area this afternoon and into the night. Fire managers have planned to extend pre-identified primary and alternate control lines to the north and west of the fire. They will be utilizing Hwy 139 and the existing roads to the northwest and north of the fire perimeter. Firefighters have been successfully preparing these roads over the past several days in the event they were needed. Firefighters will implement point protection on values that exist between the fire and the containment roads. Today, crews on the west will work to secure the fire’s edge. If fire behavior necessitates and conditions allow, crews will perform burning operations to remove fuel ahead of the fire front. Air resources will support firefighters on the ground as weather permits. 

Weather & Fuel Conditions: It will be another hot, dry day with highs in the low 90s and relative humidity of 10-12%. Winds will be out of the N to NW, with speeds of 5 to 9 mph and gusts up to 16 mph. High pressure remains, and there is a potential for thunderstorms starting around 2 p.m. with no precipitation predicted. Lightning is possible, and outflow winds could create strong gusts of 20-30 mph that contribute to more unpredictable and erratic fire behavior.

Evacuations and closures: Garfield County: Clear Creek (211) Road, Carr Creek (207) Road, CR 202. Pre-evacuations: the areas of County Road 205, Kimball Mountain Road and CR 256 in between Kimball Mountain Road and Browns Point. For more information: https://garfieldcounty.net/. Roan Creek Road (204) at North Dry Fork (200) Road has a staffed closure. Due to increased fire activity north of Fruita, several other roads have been closed. These include 21 Road north of the BLM boundary, 16 Road at V 8/10 Road, and the Q 5/10 Road is closed at 18 Road.

Air Quality:Air Quality Health Advisories may be issued in areas near the Pine Gulch and Grizzly Creek fires. A smoke outlook for the Pine Gulch Fire is available where this update is posted and at https://fires.airfire.org/outlooks/WesternColorado. For more information on smoke levels, visit https://airnow.gov. 

Emergency Alerts: For Garfield County, visit garco911.com. For Mesa County alerts, visit bit.ly/Emergency_Alerts.

Temporary Flight Restrictions:A Temporary Flight Restriction is in place over the Pine Gulch Fire. Wildfires are a No Drone Zone. If you fly, we can’t. For more information, visit http://knowbeforeyoufly.org.


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