Photo courtesy: Pine Gulch Fire Facebook Page
By Monday morning, the Pine Gulch Fire grew to 29,425 acres according to an overnight infrared flight. On Sunday, the fire was active from the pre-dawn hours through the day, primarily on Horse Mountain. Fuels remained critically dry and winds out of the southwest continued pushing the fire northeast through the day. The fire burning on Cow Ridge continued working downslope to Kimball Creek and spotted across the Kimball Creek (202) road late yesterday afternoon. The fire on the north side of 202 grew to approximately 300 acres and is located south face of Kimball Mountain. Firefighters actively fought the fire on the south side of Kimball Mountain into early Monday morning. One old, abandoned structure was burned on Sunday afternoon in the Kimball Creek drainage. The Pine Gulch Fire remains 7% contained.
On Monday, Division A will patrol and mop up the containment line along the X ½ road. Crews in Division G will be working with crews in Division Z looking for opportunities to secure the fire between the X ½ road/222 and the dozer lines constructed along the east end of the North Dry Fork (200) road. Other crews, called the Kimball Group, will continue working on structure protection in the Kimball Creek drainage and assessing values at risk north of the fire’s current location. Crews will be assessing containment options along the Roan Creek (204) road through the day today. A night shift with two divisions has been established; those divisions are known as J and V (not currently shown on map). Crews assigned to those groups will be working overnight to protect values at risk in the fire area and conducting burn operations as conditions and fire behavior allow. Aerial resources will be used again today to assist efforts on the ground.
Weather & Fuel Conditions: Humidity recovery was poor again overnight although fire behavior was less extreme than was seen on previous overnight shifts. Humidity will decrease through the day today with an expected minimum relative humidity as low as 7%. Temperatures are expected to be 86-89 degrees. Winds out of the southwest are expected to be consistent through the day with gusts as high as 18 mph. If winds and slope align over the fire, there is a possibility for extreme fire behavior and high rates of spread again today.
Closures and Evacuations: Garfield County Sheriff’s Office issued an evacuation order for residents on Roan Creek (204) road, Clear Creek (211) road, Carr Creek (207) road and Brush Creek (209) road on Sunday night. Garfield County issued an evacuation order for residences on CR 202 on Saturday. For more information on evacuation orders, please visit https://garfieldcounty.net/. There is a new road closure in effect on Roan Creek Road (204) at Kimball Creek Road (202); that closure is being staffed by Garfield County Sheriff’s Office.
KREX 5’S Adrian Thomas is in De Beque, Colorado, which is being heavily impacted by smoke from the fire as it continues to grow. He spoke with De Beque fire officials and has the latest on how crews are preparing. TUNE IN to KREX 5 at 5, 6, and 6:30 Monday evening to see the latest from Adrian.