Sept. 4 Grizzly Creek Fire update: 83% contained, CDOT encourages travelers to have backup plans in case of Glenwood Canyon closure |

Sept. 4 Grizzly Creek Fire update: 83% contained, CDOT encourages travelers to have backup plans in case of Glenwood Canyon closure

Smoke has been visible on parts of the Grizzly Creek Fire, and may continue to be visible due to pockets of fuel in the interior of the control line that continue to burn out.
Courtesy U.S. Forest Service

With 65 miles of fire line secured, the Alaska Incident Management Team expects to complete suppression efforts on the Grizzly Creek Fire on Sunday.

The remaining uncontained line will likely stay that way, since it is rough country and poses significant hazards to firefighters, a Friday morning update reports.

“We’re on track to have suppression operations completed by Sunday,” said Karen Scholl in the update. Scholl is operations planning chief for the Alaska Incident Management Team, which has command of the fire.

The Grizzly Creek Fire started Aug. 10 in Glenwood Canyon along Interstate 70 and is currently 32,464 acres in size. There are 548 personnel involved right now in firefighting efforts.

While weather conditions Thursday were conducive to increased fire activity, Grizzly Creek “showed little sign of life.”

“A few visible smokes popped up behind Bair Ranch on the southeast side, as well as in the Grizzly and No Name creek drainages on the northwest corner,” the Friday update states. “The heat in both areas was addressed with helicopter water drops. Interior portions of the fire will continue to put up random smokes until a season-ending rain or snow event.”

Efforts have transitioned over the past week to repairing dozer line constructed when the fire was more active and in danger of spreading.

“There are six excavators and six dozers tackling line rehab,” the update reports. “So far, 31 miles of line have been repaired and there are another 7.5 miles pending.”

The last piece of suppression repair around Transfer Trail Road will likely take at least another week to complete, according to the update.

While moisture and cold weather is forecast Tuesday, dry conditions over the Labor Day weekend means the risk for fire remains high.

“It is imperative that hunters, campers and others celebrating the holiday weekend be extremely careful with any activity that could spark a wildfire,” the update states. “A statewide fire ban remains in effect because of the tinder dry conditions in much of Colorado.”

Traffic through Glenwood Canyon

Heavy holiday traffic is expected today through Monday along the I-70 corridor and Glenwood Canyon. The Colorado Department of Transportation recommends that anyone with travel plans involving Glenwood Canyon have a secondary route identified in case of closures.

Travelers should also pay attention to weather forecasts. In the event of a flash flood watch from the National Weather Service, CDOT will be on standby in Glenwood Canyon. In the event of a flash flood warning, CDOT will immediately close I-70 from Glenwood Springs to Dotsero.