Oak Meadows Fire near Glenwood Springs now 100 percent contained

John Stroud
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
The Oak Meadows Fire burn area, as it appeared on Saturday morning.
Garfield County Sheriff’s Office/Courtesy photo

The Oak Meadows Fire burning south of Glenwood Springs over the weekend was 100 percent contained as of about 8 p.m. Sunday, as mop-up operations continued on Monday.

Given the high concentration of oak brush in the burn area just south of the Oak Meadows subdivision, crews were focusing today on any hot spots that could flare up, according to a Garfield County Sheriff’s Office press release issued late Monday morning.

“One fire crew will continue to work today to further secure the perimeter and eliminate any remaining hot spots. It is anticipated that all ground resources will be released by 5 p.m. today,” according to the release.

The incident command team brought in from Southern Idaho was to be demobilized by 6 p.m., and the Glenwood Springs Fire Department will continue to patrol and monitor the fire for the next few days until it is confirmed out.

Sheriff’s spokesman Walt Stowe said there is still no official determination of cause, which is still under investigation. Witnesses who were near the fire area when it broke out late Friday afternoon indicated it may have been started by an electrical transformer behind a house at the far south end of the internal subdivision road known as Aspen Way.

In addition to the Glenwood Springs Fire Department, initial agency response came from the Aspen Fire Department, the Basalt Rural Fire Protection District, Carbondale  and Rural Fire Protection District, Colorado River Fire Rescue, and Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management.

A joint incident command was established with the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office and the Glenwood Springs Fire Department before the Type 3 team took over on Saturday.

Ground operations continued Saturday with two hot shot crews, five ground crews, and, as needed, a type 2 helicopter.

“The ground crews on Sunday were reduced to six with the cessation of aerial support,” according to the Sheriff’s release. “Multiple brush trucks, water tenders and engines were used in the ground operations on Saturday and Sunday.”

Final mop-up was to continue today.

“It is important to note, we are still in high fire danger and rural Garfield County is under Stage I fire restrictions as well as many of the municipalities in our area,” the sheriff’s release also noted.

“Consideration is being given to moving into Stage 2 fire restrictions if it is deemed necessary and prudent for the safety and welfare of the residents of Garfield County,” according to the release. Such a restriction would ban open campfires, use of charcoal grills, and smoking outdoors. Use of fireworks has already been banned by county ordinance, and Glenwood Springs currently has imposed State 2 restrictions.

“While no structures were lost in the Oak Meadows Fire and no injuries were reported, the outlook could have been much different had weather conditions been more extreme or the initial response less aggressive,” the sheriff’s release concluded.