Rifle, CO - The Cache Creek Fire southwest of Rifle continues to grow, and firefighters say they expect it to continue to grow over the next few days.
The fire has now burned more than 400 acres and has forced the evacuation of some structures on Battlement Creek Reservoir Road.
Below is the entire update from the National Forest Service:
The Rocky Mountain Incident Management Blue Team assumed command of the Cache Creek Fire from the local type 3 organization at 6:00am this morning. “During the initial response to the Cache Creek Fire, the local team made public and firefighter safety their top priority. Our team will continue that objective as the rough terrain and limited access will make fighting this fire a challenge,” said Jay Esperance, Incident Commander of the Rocky Mountain Incident Management Blue Team.
Yesterday, fire crews worked to connect areas of rocky scree with handline on the western side of the lightning-caused Cache Creek Fire. Two Type 1 helicopters assisted resources on the ground by conducting water drops from the Battlement Mesa Reservoir. Fire activity remained moderate until approximately 5:00pm when the southern side of the fire became more active. The fire remained active overnight, moving to the west and crossing Cache Creek.
Today, firefighters will scout the fire perimeter to identify safe access points and hazards in the fire area as well as begin structure protection on Battlement Creek Reservoir Road. In addition to the two Type 1 (large) helicopters, a Type 2 (medium) helicopter will also be available to support ground resources in this effort.
The fire continues to burn in steep, rugged terrain with a substantial amount of dead and down timber within the fire perimeter. Observed fire activity has been torching of subalpine fir, which then throw spots ahead of the fire.
The hot, dry weather pattern will continue for the remainder of this week. Forecasted weather for today is for highs 87-92 degrees in the valley with temperatures on the fire 69-74 degrees. Relative humidity will be 8-14% with winds out of the northwest 8-14mph, gusting to 25mph in the afternoon. There is a slight chance of isolated thunderstorms.
Structures have been evacuated on Battlement Creek Reservoir Road. The Rifle Ranger District of the White River National Forest has implemented an emergency area closure for the Cache Creek Fire. It may be viewed ator at . The public is asked to stay clear of the area to allow firefighters to safely manage the fire.