Wednesday UPDATE: Cache Creek Fire grows to 2,544 acres, containment down to 40 percent | PostIndependent.com

Wednesday UPDATE: Cache Creek Fire grows to 2,544 acres, containment down to 40 percent

August 15 update – The Cache Creek Fire grew only by 44 acres Tuesday, as firefighters fought to slow the growth of the fire burning southwest of Rifle. Containment is still reported to be at 40%.

Public health officials advise that people with special respiratory needs should continue to monitor the air and take precautions for their comfort and health. For more information about wildfire smoke, visit https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/wildfires/smoke.html.

August 14 update – Federal crews fighting the Cache Creek Fire southwest of Rifle worked throughout the day Monday to contain the spot fire that started Sunday evening in the Cache Creek drainage. The fire increased in acreage from about 1,700 acres on Sunday to 2,500 acres as of Tuesday morning, after the fire jumped the containment line Sunday night.

Some containment was also lost, from 60 percent Sunday to 40 percent as of Tuesday.

On Monday, a helicopter dropped water to cool the fire's edge so crews and dozers could work to build a new containment line, according to the Tuesday morning update from the local fire management team.

At about 1 p.m. Monday afternoon, outflow winds from a storm caused another spot fire on the west side of the fire. The fire was burning in a bowl east of Battlement Reservoir Road and produced a large smoke column. An evening rain storm over the fire slowed fire activity and the column dissipated with heavy smoke settling into the upper valley areas, including Glenwood Springs and Carbondale.

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The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office implemented a pre-evacuation notice for six structures near the fire, but no structures have been lost.

Fire managers will be flying the fire Tuesday to help develop a new plan to safely confine and contain the fire in the Battlement Creek drainage, according to the morning update. “Firefighters will also be monitoring other containment lines watching for spot fires across the line.”

Monday evening update — The large column of smoke seen Monday afternoon was from a spot fire over the line on the west side of the Cache Creek Fire and burned in the bowl east of Battlement Reservior Road, according to the latest from the federal incident command team.

“We received some rain over the fire that helped slow the fire’s growth,” according to the evening update. “We will have a crew out on the north side of the fire tonight where the fire had jumped the line last night.”

Fire personnel have been in close communication with Garfield County officials regarding the status and progress of the fire.

The flare up caused significant smoke to spread east and settle into Colorado and Roaring Fork River valleys.

August 13: Sunday evening, outflow winds from passing storms caused a spot fire across the fire line on the northwest edge of the Cache Creek Fire above Cache Creek Road.

“Because of darkness, terrain, and intensity, it was not safe for crews to engage this spot fire last night,” fire managers said in their Monday morning update. “Grand Valley Fire Protection District firefighters and engines were providing structure protection north of the fire.”

Prior to the spot fire, containment was at 60 percent and acreage had grown to 1,717 as of Sunday. Crews were able to contain several spot fires near the line, according to the update.

“Today (Monday), crews will evaluate the spot fire and develop a plan to safely work to contain it. Two engines, two crews, Garfield County bulldozers, a water tender, and helicopters are assisting with these firefighting efforts. Firefighters will also be monitoring other containment lines watching for spot fires across the line.”

Weather forecast: Widely scattered storms are expected in the area with temperatures in the 70s and 80s and relative humidity in the upper teens to near 20 percent. Outflow winds are possible from area storms. Showers and storms are more likely on Tuesday and Wednesday.

August 12: Firefighters concentrated their efforts in patrolling the fireline to watch for spot fires especially near the burnout operation conducted Friday evening, according to the latest update from  the fire management team working the Cache Creek Fire southwest of Rifle.

The two crews patrolling and monitoring the fire were able to contain several spot fires near the line.  Containment is now 60 percent and acreage remains at 1,611, although this will probably increase after our next infrared flight. A number of resources were sent to assist with the Cabin Lake Fire.

Today, crews will continue working to strengthen the line and watch for spotting across the line.

August 11: Firefighters conducted a 15-acre burnout operation on the southeast edge of the fire to strengthen the containment line. According to a Saturday update from fire managers, a 20-person crew assisted the Smoky Bear Hotshots in patrolling and monitoring the fire along the containment lines before the burnout operation. Containment remains at 56 percent and acreage increased to 1,611.

Today crews were to continue working along the east side of the fire to strengthen the line and watch for spotting across the line. Three engines and helicopters are available to assist with firefighting efforts.

August 10: On Friday, a second 20-person crew will be working along the east side of the fire to strengthen the line and watch for spotting across the line, according to fire managers in their morning update. “The work is made harder by hot and dry weather and elevation over 10,000 feet. Firefighters are supported by three engines and helicopters as needed. The primary objective of firefighters is to patrol, monitor and take appropriate actions to keep the fire from crossing containment line.”

The fire has been burning about 8 miles southwest of Rifle since the evening of July 28. An official cause has not been released by fire management officials.

Areas near Battlement Reservoir Creek Road remain on pre-evacuation notice, but no structures have been lost to the fire. An emergency area closure remains in effect for parts of the Rifle Ranger District of the White River National Forest.

CACHE CREEK FIRE

Location: 8 miles southwest of Rifle

Containment: 40%

Size: 2,500 acres

Management: Type 3 Incident Management Team

Personnel: 80

Started: July 28