Crews making ‘excellent progress’ knocking down Red Canyon Fire burning south of Glenwood Springs

Crews from Grizzly Creek Fire shift to help on new fire, which likely started by lightning

Staff reports

UPDATE 7 p.m. Wednesday — Fire resources were reported to be making “excellent progress” Wednesday evening on the new Red Canyon Fire from both the air and ground.

“Dozer line is being constructed, and a night shift will be on scene,” according to the Grizzly Creek Fire command, which has taken over public information in the effort to fight the lightning-caused blaze.

Fire managers were also keeping an eye on other potential lightning strikes as a thunderstorm with lots of wind and lightning, but little rain, was moving over the area headed toward Basalt.

Carbondale and Rural District fire officials quickly called in backup to deal with the fire, which started on the southern fringe of the Grizzly Creek Fire. The Carbondale fire officials said in the first hour that the fire was up to about 200 acres, however, officials with the Grizzly Creek Fire have updated to say it burned roughly 30-40 acres.

The Red Canyon Fire (first referred to as the Fisher Creek Fire) is burning in upper Spring Valley along the north side of Garfield County Road 115 (Red Canyon) and Fisher Cemetery Road.

Type 1 and type 2 helicopters, as well as several single-engine air tankers, seven engines and a water tender from the Grizzly Creek Fire responded and helped suppressed the new fire, officials said just before 6 p.m. 

“Fire resources are making excellent progress on the #RedCanyonFire from both the air and ground. Dozer line is being constructed and a night shift will be on scene,” officials posted at 6:10 p.m. on the Grizzly Creek Fire Facebook page.

The Red Canyon Fire was reported at approximately 4 p.m. Wednesday at 20 acres and growing rapidly, Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District reported initially.

“Upon arrival firefighters found a fire rapidly moving through the area,” according to a news release posted to the district’s Facebook page.

According to officials working the Grizzly Creek Fire, the Red Canyon Fire was likely started by lightning.

Brian Scott, who is the Grizzly Creek Fire incident PIO, said the new fire is “totally unrelated” to the Grizzly fire and is about 5 miles from the perimeter of the Grizzly fire, which started Aug. 10 and has burned more than 28,000 acres as of Wednesday afternoon.

“We’ve agreed as part of our work to be available for initial attack, and are sending some of our resources down there,” Scott told the Vail Daily. “(We have) got some structural protection folks, engines, tenders that can haul water, some aircraft we have access to is responding.”

Evacuations were in progress for High Aspen Ranch, Ranch at Coulter Creek, and High Homestead Estates. Those areas were already part of the Grizzly Creek Fire evacuations.

This is a developing story and will be updated.