Grizzly Creek Fire at 68% containment Friday morning |

Grizzly Creek Fire at 68% containment Friday morning

Charred trees in the foreground and Interstate 70 in the background Friday near Dotsero. The Grizzly Creek Fire burned hot up the ridge but was contained before advancing east.
Chris Dillmann |

Containment of the Grizzly Creek Fire continues to increase heading into the weekend.

“We did get to 68% containment, adding a little containment (on the southeastern perimeter),” said Karen Scholl, operations section chief for the Alaska Interagency Incident Management Team, during a Friday morning update on the Grizzly Creek Fire Facebook page. ” … South of Bair Ranch, we are continuing to mop up and hold the burnout from a couple of days ago. It’s still looking really good but there’s still work to be done. We’re not ready to call that black yet.”

The Grizzly Creek Fire is now 32,408 acres in size. It started Aug. 10 along Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon.

The Alaska Team took over for the Great Basin Type 1 Incident Management Team earlier this week. Made up of about 80 personnel, the Alaska Interagency Incident Management Team includes experts in operations, plans, logistics, finance, aviation, safety and communications. In total, over 700 personnel are working on containing the fire.

Thursday’s drier weather prompted increased fire activity in Grizzly Creek drainage. Scholl said it’s a good reminder that the fire remains a hazard even as containment increases.

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“It is showing that there’s still fire out here, we’re not done with this yet,” she said.

Loose debris also remains a concern — crews are working today to clear a rockslide from Colorado River Road north of Dotsero.

“With the fire burning all the vegetation, those steep slopes are now unable to hold what rocks and debris are up there,” she said. “So, that’s what we’re anticipating with rain is debris flow in all sorts of areas so we’re keeping an eye on that to keep our crews safe.”

The good news is that today is expected to bring milder weather and moisture to the area, which should help in crews efforts to further increase containment, Scholl said.

Smoke concerns should also be considerably lower heading into the weekend.

“There is a possibility of smoke accumulating in the late and early morning hours if we do get extreme fire behavior from Grizzly Creek fires and the Cameron Peak fire,” according to the update.

The Grizzly Creek public information line is 970-930-1850.

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