South Grizzly blaze extinguished | AspenTimes.com
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South Grizzly blaze extinguished

Heather McGregor

The South Grizzly Fire is contained and out, 10 days after a lightning bolt sparked the blaze.

It burned much of a 534-acre oval of steep terrain along South Grizzly Creek in the Glenwood Springs watershed, according to federal fire information officer Maria Garcia.

As of Tuesday night, the firefighting effort cost $1.9 million.

A team of 120 firefighters and a helicopter finished mop-up work on Tuesday and began rehabilitation work in the burned area to prevent erosion.

By Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, only 20 firefighters were left at the fire scene.

Many were reassigned to fires in Utah or Wyoming, although 40 firefighters from the Zuni Pueblo in New Mexico went home for a few days’ rest, Garcia said.

They left behind one 20-person crew and two wildland fire engines under the leadership of Sparky Tabor.

He served as the safety officer throughout the fire and now takes over as incident commander. When he’s not working on a fire, Tabor is a range technician for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in Grand Junction.

Tabor and his crew plan to watch the fire scene through the weekend to make sure smoldering ashes that mop-up crews might have missed do not reignite.

White River National Forest officials are laying plans for more rehabilitation work to prevent a load of sediment from sweeping into the creek and polluting the city’s water supply.

Meanwhile, fire crews and administrators vacated Eagle Valley High School in Gypsum Wednesday afternoon. The school served as fire headquarters.

To commemorate the fire and raise money for the school, Eagle Valley teacher Susan Hicks is selling “South Grizzly Fire” T-shirts for $10. To order one, leave a message for Hicks at the school, 524-7511.


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