Aggressive response called in to knock down fire near Sylvan Lake
UPDATED July 14, 11:30 a.m.
EAGLE — After reconnaissance last night, the U.S. Forest Service said the acreage count for the Red Table Fire near Sylvan Lake remains at just under 20 acres.
According to Kate Jerman, acting public affairs officer for the White River National Forest, some spotting is occurring within close proximity to the main fire. Aerial response resumed at 8 a.m. and currently, the team is utilizing one Type II helicopter which is assigned to the Red Table Fire with other aircraft resources on standby.
The Red Table Fire is located at Antone Cabin Springs Drainage southwest of Sylvan Lake and east of LEDE Reservoir.
“The team is focused on suppression and stopping fire spread to the north toward Sylvan Lake,” said Jerman. “ Efforts today will also focus on the protection of the transmission line adjacent to the fire. The transmission line has been de-energized but it is still active with less charge.”
Multiple hand crews are engaging the fire this morning. Progress is being made on the left flank of the fire with hand line. The left flank is the north-facing flank of the fire. Crews are working on putting in a saw and hand-line on the right flank of the fire.
“Firefighters and the public continues to be a top priority,” said Jerman. “We ask the public to respect the efforts of the team and the firefighters and stay away from the area affected by the fire and avoid recreating in the Antone Cabin Springs Drainage.”
The road going into the fire camp and staging area is closed to the public except for overnight campers utilizing the campground. Conditions may change suddenly and anyone visiting the park are urged to call the park to check for updates.
Areas near lake at Sylvan Lake State Park are closed to day-use due to Red Table Fire, for more information call 970- 328-2021.
Currently, there is a flight restriction order over the area. Please be aware that Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) or drones are a serious impediment to wildland fire fighting. If a drone is spotted near a wildfire, aircraft will be grounded for safety reasons which puts firefighter’s safety at risk and stops suppression efforts.
“The team and White River National Forest thanks Colorado State Parks and Wildlife and Sylvan Lake State Park for their cooperation and partnership with use of staging areas and facilities,” said Jerman.
Please visit the White River National Forest Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/WhiteRiverNF/ and Follow @WhiteRiverNews on Twitter for current information.
July 14 — 9 a.m.
Within a couple of hours after the Red Table Fire near Sylvan Lake was first reported, the U.S. Forest Service already had tankers in the air and boots on the ground to fight the blaze.
“We are glad to see there is a very aggressive response to this fire,” said Mike Porras, Colorado Parks and Wildlife Northwest Region Public Information Officer. “We have confidence in the forest service’s firefighters to knock it down.”
The latest update from the USFS reported that the Red Table Fire area is just under 20 acres. Although the fire initially grew very quickly, the actions of the initial response team and aerial attack have halted fire spread. The team worked toward containment and monitored the fire overnight.
The Red Table Fire is located at Anton Cabin Springs Drainage southwest of Sylvan Lake and east of LEDE Reservoir. The wildfire is burning in heavy sub alpine fir and spruce.
A Multi Mission Aircraft flight (MMA) flight was conducted last night, where infrared images and mapping were produced for assessment this morning. Resources are staged at the Sylvan Lake State Park campground and will demobilize as necessary pending morning assessment and conditions.
According to the USFS, the team is focused on suppressing the fire and protecting a critical transmission line that is adjacent to the fire. The transmission line has been de-energized as a precaution, the line is still active but not operating at full charge.
During initial response the team evacuated the workers at LEDE Reservoir and a handful of people who were dispersed camping in the area. The USFS is asking people to avoid driving to the fire, to stay away from the fire and let the team work.
Currently, there is a flight restriction order over the area. Please be aware that unmanned aircraft systems or drones are a serious impediment to wildland fire fighting. If a drone is spotted near a wildfire, aircraft will be grounded for safety reasons which puts firefighter’s safety at risk and stops suppression efforts.
Sylvan Lake Day Use areas closed to public
Due to the Red Table Fire, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is advising anyone planning to visit the park that effective immediately, all day-use areas at or near the park’s lake will close until further notice. Firefighters are using the lake and boat ramp to stage heavy equipment and the incident command center as they continue to battle the 20-acre fire, first reported at 1:30 Wednesday afternoon.
Due to safety concerns, visitors may not use the lake, or areas around the lake for recreation, including boating, fishing or hiking on trails surrounding the lake.
The Meadows area north of the lake is also closed to public use because it has been designated as a helicopter landing area. Camping and cabins in areas away from the lake will remain open, as well as the park’s visitor center.
Visitors may encounter smoke and a heavy fire personnel presence until further notice.
Anyone with camping reservations in the next few days are advised to call the Sylvan Lake State Park office for details at 970-328-2021
If necessary, cancellations can be made through the central reservations office by calling 800-678-2267.
For more information visit http://cpw.state.co.us/buyapply/Pages/Reservations.aspx
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The tragic incident left a nearby camper wondering if more could be done to remove dead-standing trees from popular camping areas.