GRAND JUNCTION, Colo – The Grizzly Creek wildfire torched over 32,000 acres and the burn scar continues to pose a threat to I-70.
I-70 has already faced three closures across four days and the low amount of rain we have seen has already caused major mud slides across the burn scar.
“We have our safety protocol in place or guidelines if you will and those are the ones we have been working on since the spring. we unfortunately have had the opportunity to deploy those,” Elise Thatcher, CDOT Manager said.
The safety protocols CDOT has in place has helped accelerate road closures as long as the weather is cooperative. the rain is a driving factor to how CDOT chooses to operate I-70 and according to our meteorologist Russ Pappas, precipitation is in the forecast.
“Just know this we are expecting more rain showers in this area for the next 48 hours and if the National Weather Service decides to initiate another flash flood warning that’s an immediate safety closure for CDOT,” Pappas said.
CDOT is ensuring motorists safety as it’s number one priority and advises all those thinking of traveling in this area over the holiday weekend to have a back up plan. Crews are on standby if a flash flood warning is put in place and are continuing to repair the Grizzly Creek burn scar.
“We have done a lot of modeling and working with partner agencies this Spring and coming into the Summer to understand what kind of mud slides could take place in the canyon. You certainly don’t know for sure until there is a rain event of some kind and you can see how the landscape responds,” Thatcher said.
This area will be a continued risk to all those traveling through Glenwood Canyon as the Summer unfolds and we continue to see more wildfires throughout the state.