Photo Courtesy: Pine Gulch Fire Facebook Page
The Pine Gulch Fire grew to 36,449 acres on Monday and remains 7% contained. The fire moved up the south slope of Kimball Mountain late yesterday and is currently backing down into the Roan Creek drainage. Crews aircraft, and dozers will be working along Roan Creek (204) road today constructing fire line along the road in anticipation of the fire’s continued progress north-northeast. Additional crews in the ‘Roan Group’ will be working on structure protection around structures and values at risk along Roan Creek (204) road, Clear Creek (211) road, Carr Creek (207) road and Brush Creek (209) road on Tuesday.
The fire continued to be active on the north side of Horse Mountain as it continued advancing north and east along the North Dry Fork (200) road. The western end of the 200 road is being addressed with bucket drops from helicopters. Crews in Divisions A and G will continue their firing operations, as conditions allow between North Dry Fork (200) road and the X ½ road. A night shift with two divisions continued day shift’s efforts with structure protection north of the fire and conducting burn operations as conditions and fire behavior allow. An additional Type 1 helicopter is assigned to the fire, bringing the total to four. Aerial resources will be used again today to assist efforts on the ground.
Weather & Fuel Conditions: Humidity will decrease through the day today with an expected minimum relative humidity as low as 6%. Temperatures are expected to be 85-88 degrees. Winds along the ridges will continue out of the west-southwest in the morning, then shift midday to 13-17 mph out of the east-southeast with gusts up to 28 mph. With the winds added to the already hot and dry conditions, there is a possibility for extreme, wind-driven fire behavior and high rates of spread 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.
Air Quality: Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has issued an Air Quality Health Advisory for western Mesa County and Garfield County. An Air Resource Advisor is now assigned to the Pine Gulch Fire and will be producing a daily smoke outlook, which is posted with this update and at https://fires.airfire.org/outlooks/WesternColorado.
Widespread smoke from the Pine Gulch fire is expected impact many parts of Colorado Tuesday and Tuesday night into Wednesday. Areas affected downwind from the fires along the I-70 corridor in central Colorado and as far east as the Front Range region and the eastern plains. For more information on smoke and smoke impacts, please visit https://airnow.gov.
Emergency Alerts: Both Mesa and Garfield counties have emergency alert systems to alert citizens – by cell or land line phone – about emergencies, evacuations, and other important community news. To sign up for alerts in Garfield County, please visit garco911.com. For Mesa County alerts, please visit bit.ly/Emergency_Alerts.