Aug. 22 Grizzly Creek Fire updates: Crews making progress on containing northwest corner; fire nears 30k acres

Staff reports
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
Charred trees in the foreground and Interstate 70 in the background Friday near Dotsero. The Grizzly Creek Fire burned hot up the ridge but was contained before advancing east.
Chris Dillmann |

Update 9:45 a.m.: Firefighters made significant progress containing the Grizzly Creek Fire, with containment lines going on along Coffee Pot Road and the northwest corner along Interstate 70 and the No Name drainage.

The fire, which started Aug. 10, is now 29,992 acres in size.

“There was minimal fire growth in No Name and Grizzly Creek drainages yesterday,” Saturday morning’s update states. “Crews built a line around Bair Ranch structures to the east and conducted burnout operations up to Ike Ridge.”

A mobile retardent camp on I-70 continues to help helicopters battle fire in the Lookout Park area to the west.

The most up-to-date fire line map.

The fire is expected to be active again today with heat and dry conditions forecast, but firefighters will work to put in containment line from I-70 up to the top of Spruce Ridge.

“Interior islands of aspen stands and sagebrush continue to smolder in the fire area,” the update states. “On the west side of the fire, crews plan to work in steeper sections of Bear Creek and in the Lookout Mountain Park area.”

A community meeting on Facebook is scheduled for 6 p.m. tonight, which you can watch here.

Pine Gulch Fire at 19% containment

A slight chance for thunderstorms to the west could cause Pine Gulch to be active today, Saturday’s update reports.

The Pine Gulch Fire started July 31 and is now 126,613 acres in size, making it the second-largest fire on record in Colorado.

Friday saw crews increase containment to 19%, mostly around the southeast and northeast edges of the blaze. Today’s operations will focus on putting in containment line on a ridge above a road running east-west between the fire and Colorado Highway 139, which is closed from Douglas Pass to north of Loma.

“Weather and smoke allowing, aircraft will support these efforts of firefighters on the ground,” the update states. “Firefighters are also utilizing UAS ignitions (Unmanned Aerial Systems). UAS has been a highly successful tool on the Pine Gulch Fire, reducing the need for hand ignitions and thus limiting firefighter exposure.”

The next community meeting for the Pine Gulch Fire is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, which you can watch here.

This is a developing story that will be updated.