Sunday Grizzly Creek Fire updates: Fire burning more than 25,000 acres, full suppression efforts continue
- Size: 25, 690 acres
- Start date: Aug. 10
- Location: Glenwood Canyon
- Containment: 0%
- Hand crews: 15
- Helicopters: 13
- Engines: 32
- Water tenders: 7
- Dozers: 4
- Crews will also utilize feller bunchers and other logging equipment
- Total Personnel: 625
The wildfire, which started burning in Glenwood Canyon Monday, is 0% contained. Full suppression efforts will continue Sunday with 625 total personnel, a post on the fire’s Facebook page says.
On Saturday, spot fires from Friday grew together and moved toward Bair Ranch, but the dozer line and structure protection measures in place held back the fire. No structures were lost, an InciWeb information update posted Sunday late morning read.
Heavy smoke in the area late yesterday afternoon was due to the fire pushing between Deadman Canyon and Devil’s Hole Canyon. Fire activity in the No Name area was “quiet” and the southeast edge of the fire is continuing to hold on Spruce Ridge, the information update says.
The fire was burning over 19,000 acres Saturday and containment efforts on the southeast side helped prevent eastern spread, as previously reported.
On Sunday, firefighters will continue implementing structure protection around the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park gondola and will also work to keep the fire south of Coffee Pot Road.
“Crews will engage the fire where they safely can. Direct attack of the fire has been difficult due to the rugged and steep terrain,” the information update states. Heavy air tankers will be shared with the Pine Gulch Fire on Sunday. “Firefighters will hold and improve line construction as fire comes out of deep canyons.”
In a short video briefing, Jeff Surber, operations section chief on the Grizzly Creek Fire, further explained that the fire team often changes suppression and containment priorities several times a day based on how the fire is moving, where it is most active and where there are immediate structure threats.
Areas evacuated include No Name, Lookout Mountain, Bair Ranch, Coulter Creek, Buck Point, Spring Valley Ranch, Homestead Estates, Sweetwater, Aspen Meadows, Upper Colorado Road and High Aspen Ranch. Areas in pre-evacuation status include Dotsero and Two Rivers Estates, the Grizzly Creek Fire Facebook page says.
Interstate 70 between the main Glenwood Springs exit and Gypsum remains closed in both directions, including the Glenwood Canyon bike path, with no estimated time for reopening.
Other area road closures include Eagle-Thomasville Road (Forest Service Road 400), Cottonwood Pass road, Coffee Pot Road, Transfer Trail, Clinetop Mesa roads and areas of the Flattops accessed by those roads. For more information on road closures and alternate routes, visit cotrip.org. The Cottonwood Landing boat ramp, Lyons campground and boat ramp and the Dotsero boat ramp are also closed.
Independence Pass is open to passenger vehicles only, with delays around two hours expected, the Colorado Department of Transportation website says. On Sunday morning, several CDOT vehicles and officials were positioned along the Pitkin and Lake County portions of the two-lane highway to help with traffic flow.
The Interagency Wildland Fire Air Quality Response Program’s Sunday smoke outlook shows an overall moderate air quality index for the Aspen, Eagle and Vail areas, and “unhealthy for sensitive groups” quality index for Glenwood Springs.
Smoke is expected to move into all four areas Sunday afternoon and evening.
“When in smoky areas, limit outdoor exposure, drink plenty of fluids, and maintain a healthy diet. Stay indoors if possible when conditions are at their worse,” the air quality response program’s website says. “A general rule of thumb is if you can smell smoke, you are breathing smoke.
The Grizzly Creek Fire, Pine Gulch Fire near Grand Junction and the Williams Fork Fire—which was detected Friday and is burning 4,300 acres in the Arapaho National Forest north of Silverthorne—are all contributing to the accumulated smoke in the area, the program website says.
The Grizzly Creek Fire team will host a virtual Facebook Live community meeting on the Grizzly Creek Fire page at 6 p.m. The meeting will be presented in two sessions, one in English and one in Spanish.
This is a developing story that will be updated.
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“There are parts of (Grizzly Creek Fire) that got 8 inches of snow in the recent weeks, but we still have activity on warm days,” a Forest Service spokesman said. “We’ll probably need some kind of season-ending weather event, like a big rain or snow to put it completely out.”