GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. — Mere miles away from Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, a fire is burning out of control – more than 3,700 acres destroyed in less than three days.
The Grizzly Creek Fire in Glenwood Canyon began just two days ago, but has already caused numerous evacuations and the closure of a major highway – I-70, which is still closed between Glenwood Springs and Gypsum. This fire is expected to get worse.
“Another hot day,” David Boyd with the White National Forest says. “We have the wind, and activity is really picking up.”
Wednedsay’s shift to a “Type 2” incident team focused on securing structures and protecting the Shoshone Power Plant – which currently sits in the path of the growing flames. “What we’re doing a lot of today is called point protection, so these particular areas that we’re most concerned about like structures, like the power plant, those sorts of things – we make sure that that’s where the people are in getting them ready ,” Boyd explains.
But for resident Trevor Peterson, he’s been watching this fire burn since the very beginning.
“We were rock climbing on the north side of the river there, up by No Name and a couple of fire trucks went past when I was climbing one of the routes there,” Peterson says. “And at that point, the next route I went up we noticed there were no more cars in the canyon. 25 minutes later or so, I look off to the right and there’s a bunch of smoke coming over the top of the ridgelines and I could tell that there was definitely a bigger fire than initially anticipated – and at that point decided it was a good point to pack up our stuff.”
As a tour guide at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, he’s not free from the fire just yet. “I definitely have noticed a decent amount of spreading both North and south from what I can tell from our vantage point here.”
And as crews continue to fight the Grizzly Creek fire, Boyd warns that in these conditions, fires can easily turn from a spark – into a massive, 4,000 acre blaze.
“If watching the Pine Gulch fire and watching this one isn’t convincing enough…we’re at a really extremely dangerous time for fire behavior.”
Evacuations have been ordered for the following neighborhoods:
- No Name
- Lookout Mountain
- Homestead Estates
- Bair Ranch
- High Aspen Ranch
- Coulter Creek
- Cottonwood Pass
- Spring Valley Ranch
For more information on I-70 closures and re-openings, check out http://cotrip.org