Pine Gulch Fire Aug. 24 Update

Local News

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The Pine Gulch Fire is 44% contained and 133,783 acres as of Monday. After several days of being tested by winds, the fire edge on the east has not moved. Nearly the entire eastern perimeter and part of the north is now considered contained, as is a portion on the south/southwest.

Primary operational focus is now on Divisions D/E/F and at the Division B/A break. Fire behavior is expected to be moderate today; however, passing storm cells have the potential for erratic winds, and this could increase fire behavior and cause growth in the north, west, and south.

The Fire remained active overnight in Division E where it is backing and flanking down drainages. Dozers worked overnight on the 266 and 265A roads, while crews continued securing and mopping up areas along the 266 Road and Hwy 139 where they had performed successful burning operations on previous nights. There is a horseshoe shaped area between the 256 Road and the 266/267 Road that remains a priority. Outflow winds could push fire north in this area. Direct attack is not an option; the area is steep, rugged, and rocky and not safe for firefighters. Firefighters are working on alternative options here including indirect control line, dozer line, and the possibility of burning
operations to bring the fire to a more manageable and accessible area. Weather allowing, aircraft will fly in this area Monday and help check the fire’s edge.

Pine Gulch Fire reference map

Firefighters and heavy equipment are still strengthening secondary control lines to the north in Divisions F and L. Heavy equipment operators will complete their work on the 207 and 209 Roads in
Division L today, and they will relocate to continue work on roads in Division F. Structure protection crews will assess structures in Divisions F and G

Firefighters continue monitoring fire behavior at the Divisions B/A break. Fire here remains inside containment lines but is actively burning the available fuels. As in Division E, storm cells remain the concern. Fire managers will keep scouting for further indirect options to help prevent southerly spread.

Thunderstorms are forecasted today starting after 2 p.m. Monday with a higher likelihood of moving directly over the fire than on past days. Gusty winds and lightning are the main concern; rainfall is not predicted. Storm outflow gusts could be up to 25 mph. Temperatures should be slightly cooler today in the high 80s to low 90s and then start to decrease through the week. Relative humidity will be 11-13%. Winds will be west to northwest, 7-9 mph with gusts to 14. By the end of the week, chances of rain will increase to 20%, and winds will become south/southwest.

Evacuations:

Garfield County: 4A Ridge Road (256), Salt Wash (205), King Road (258), Clear Creek Road
(211), Carr Creek Road (207), Kimball Creek Road (202). A pre-evacuation order is in effect for all residents of Garfield County west of CO-139 to the Utah border, and any formerly evacuated residents remain in preevacuation.

There are currently no pre-evacuations or evacuations in Mesa County.

Closures: Roan Creek Road (204) at North Dry Fork (200). The V 2/10 Rd. at the 44 Rd, Coal Canyon Rd. just past the Cameo Shooting Range. The 21 Road north of the BLM boundary, 16 Road at V 8/10 Road, and the Q 5/10 Road is closed at 18 Rd. CO-139 Douglas Pass north of Loma from mile marker 6 to mile marker 39. BLM lands north of Loma, Fruita, Grand Junction, and Palisade.


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