Crews gaining on regional wildfires; Vail Valley’s Red Canyon II Fire held to fewer than 30 acres
Red Canyon II Fire
Size: 29 acres as of noon Tuesday, July 10.
Containment: 35 percent.
Start date: Sunday, July 8.
Location: Approximately 2.5 miles east of Wolcott.
Fuels/topography: Sage, mountain shrub, grass with some pinyon-juniper.
No fly zone: Aerial operations are ongoing. Refrain from hang gliding and paragliding in the area. Additionally, refrain from flying drones in the area.
Smoke: Smoke from the fire may be visible along the Interstate 70 corridor.
Closures: The entrance to Red Canyon Estates remains closed to the public due to fire operations. Residents may return but must present valid identfication to Eagle County Sheriff’s deputies who are patrolling the area.
Source: U.S. Forest Service
Lake Christine Fire, Basalt
Size: 6,180 acres.
Containment: 39 percent.
Location: Approximately 1 mile northwest of Basalt.
Structures destroyed: Three.
Personnel: 583 total, including 16 handcrews, 35 engines, three water tenders and five helicopters.
Source: U.S. Forest Service
Weston Pass Fire
Size: 13,023 acres.
Containment: 63 percent.
Location: Nine miles south of Fairplay.
Personnel: Three Type 1 hand crews, 10 Type 2 hand crews, 22 engines, one masticator, 2 dozers, four Type 1, two Type 3 and two fixed wing aircraft.
Source: U.S. Forest Service
Fire Evacuation Check List
• Have at least 1/2 tank of fuel in your vehicle at all times.
• Flashlight, portable radio.
• Round up your pets: Get them secured and ready to go into the car with no way of escape before they are loaded into the car (this is especially important with cats).
• Make a prior arrangement to contact a neighbor or friend who might be available to help you in an evacuation situation with loading or driving a second or third vehicle or to help with large animals such as horses/penned animals, etc.
• Have pet carriers, leashes, food bowls, food, litter boxes, litter and other pet needs ready to go and ready for car (store in a secure place so these are easily loaded into the car).
• Have very important files, back‐up disks, plug‐in USB virtual drive, small compact file box ready to go.
• Include such things as homeowner’s policy, auto policies, life and investment files, bank records, legal documents, licenses, etc. (or store in a fireproof safe or fireproof bunker).
• Computer CPU (hard‐drive most important) if you have no back‐ups.
• Photograph albums, photo CDs, etc. Have these ready, packed, stored in a secure place to go immediately into car (or store in a fireproof safe).
• Cameras and expensive jewelry or important electronic devices.
• Suitcase filled with old but useable clothing, socks, underwear, jackets, sweatshirt, extra shoes, etc.
• Keep this packed ahead. Include a bag for him and for her of toiletry items, including deodorant, disposable shavers, extra toothbrushes, shampoo and shaving cream, toothpaste, extra regular medications to last a few days.
• If you have enough room, consider a few items from your camping or picnic supplies.
• Pillows and light blankets (in case you might have to sleep outside while evacuated).
• If time, draft email, send to friends and family about your intentions.
• All household and car keys, wallet, handbag, cellphones and any credit cards you keep in a drawer that you might need.
• Complete phone list or phone address book (snail and email), including cellphones of neighbors, family.
• Special or valuable items (make your own list).
• Close all windows, close all interior doors, remove curtains from area of windows.
• Turn off propane gas at tank, remove barbecue propane tank, take it with you or store in a secure place such as a bunker or away from your house.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Forest Service
WOLCOTT — A wildfire near Edwards is 60 percent contained and barely grew overnight, the U.S. Forest Service said.
Crews held the Red Canyon II fire to 29 acres by midday Tuesday, July 10, said Aaron Mayville, district ranger of the Holy Cross Ranger District.
Crews also kept the fire way from power lines that run through the area between Edwards and Wolcott.
“The firefighters have been doing great work,” Mayville said.
Crews will continue mop-up operations and extinguishing hot spots as they continue to secure the fire’s perimeter for the next several days.
Fire crews could get some help from Mother Nature.
The National Weather Service said that while temperatures will remain unseasonably high, high pressure over the region will begin to slip to the east, with moisture filtering in from the south. Scattered afternoon showers and thunderstorms could hit eastern Utah and western Colorado, especially in the higher elevations Wednesday, July 11, and Thursday, July 12.
Lightning likely sparked it
Lightning likely sparked the Red Canyon II fire late Sunday afternoon, July 8. Two other small fires were reported along Interstate 70 at around the same time that the Red Canyon II fire was reported, the Eagle River Fire Protection District said.
The fire is burning mainly sagebrush on Forest Service land, between Edwards and Wolcott, on a ridge about one-third of a mile east of the Red Canyon Estates subdivision.
Mayville reminded pilots — both drones and paragliders — to stay away from all wildfires. Monday morning, a pilot was hang gliding or paragliding near the Red Canyon II fire in an area paragliders normally fly. A helicopter has been working the fire.
“If you’re flying, we can’t,” Mayville said.
Other regional fires
In Park County, the Weston Pass fire grew to 13,023 acres nine miles south of Fairplay in the Buffalo Peaks Wilderness area. Crews have that fire 63 percent contained. A Sunday evening rainstorm and higher humidity helped crews get a handle on that blaze, the Forest Service said.
The Weston Pass fire has been burning since Thursday, June 28.
In the Roaring Fork Valley near Basalt, the Lake Christine fire has grown to 6,180 acres and was 39 percent contained at midday Tuesday.
The fire started Tuesday, July 3, when a pair of El Jebel residents allegedly sparked the blaze by firing incendiary rounds at a Basalt shooting range.
The Lake Christine fire is located one mile northwest of Basalt.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and firstname.lastname@example.org.