Freeman Fire near Ruedi Reservoir grows to 294 acres

A helicopter grabs water from Ruedi Reservoir to fight the fire while winds gust as high as 35 miles per hour.
Jack Rafferty/Special to The Aspen Times

The Freeman Fire near Ruedi Reservoir has grown to 294 acres with zero containment. The fire is actively burning north of Ruedi Reservoir between the Two by Four and Freeman Creek drainages in fine grass, brush and timber stands, the Upper Colorado River Fire Interagency Management Unit reported Sunday.

There are approximately 80 personnel on the fire today. Resources on the fire include two, Type I helicopters, a Type III helicopter, two, 20-person hot shot crews, two, 20-person Type II hand crews and three federal engines. Up to three helicopters will be conducting water-bucket drops in Ruedi Reservoir throughout the day.

Initial weather reports for today indicate sporadic gusts up to 30 miles per hour and warm temperatures. Smoke is expected to be visible from Fryingpan Road, Basalt, Meredith, Thomasville and Eagle County.

“Suppression efforts are ongoing today,” stated Kevin Warner, District Ranger. “The public can expect to see active aerial activity and fire operations in the Ruedi areas. We ask that the public maintain safe and reasonable distances from crews and operations and let the firefighters work.”

Primary suppression tactics will be performed by aerial resources. If conditions allow, crews will focus on putting in hand and saw line around the east and west flank of the fire and keeping the fire north above Fryingpan Road. Incident command is expecting 10 percent containment by end of shift today.

Public and firefighter safety is a top a priority. There are no evacuation notices or pre-evacuation notices at this time. There are no road closures, trail closures or area closures at this time. Fire suppression operations are ongoing and staging out of the Ruedi Reservoir boat ramp area. Recreationists in the area should be advised that operations will be ongoing and movement of equipment and crews may impact the recreation experience.

The Basalt and Rural Fire Protection District continues to be engaged in fire operations. The District would like to thank Eagle County, Pitkin County Sheriff’s Department, Snowmass-Wildcat Fire Protection District, Aspen Fire Protection District and the Carbondale and Rural Fire Protection District for cooperator support. Follow White River news on Twitter and Facebook for more updates.