Eagle County Fires update: Eby Creek Fire held at 1.2 acres; evacuations lifted | VailDaily.com

Eagle County Fires update: Eby Creek Fire held at 1.2 acres; evacuations lifted

Crews work a wildland fire on Eby Creek Road with structures possibly threatened. Eby Creek Rd is closed.
Eagle River Fire Protection District Facebook

EAGLE — Local crews quickly contained a small wildland fire that broke out around 2 p.m. Monday just off Eby Creek Road on private land.

The fire threatened three structures, prompting evacuation orders, and came within 200 feet of a house, said Tim Lavin, a division chief with the Greater Eagle Fire District.

Two engines were on the scene within five minutes of the fire igniting, and a total of six engines, two water tenders and three command vehicles assisted in knocking the blaze down.

The cause of the fire, which burned on 1.2 acres, remains undetermined, Lavin said. There was no weather in the area on Monday, and a red-flag warning was in effect until 9 p.m.

Fire crews planned to stay on the scene overnight and the road was reopened by 5:30 p.m.

“We had lots of offers to assist,” Lavin said. “Luckily, we had quite a lot of resources in town with the red-flag warning today.”

Where’s the smoke coming from?

Smoke was heavy throughout Eagle County on Monday, although fire officials with the Grizzly Creek Fire said it was the result of wind direction change bringing smoke from fires burning in Utah and California.

Crews on the Grizzly Creek blaze continued to put down hot spots on Monday within the fire perimeter while waiting for rain and snow to provide an assist on Tuesday.

“Still pretty tame, sort of normal fire behavior today,” said Tim Mowry with the Alaska Incident Management Team. “Using buckets to keep smoke down so folks aren’t calling 911. Nothing posing any threat to containment lines. Just holding onto things through this hot and dry weather until this other weather moves in.”

The bitter end?

Rain and snow in the higher elevations are in the forecast Tuesday, with temperatures expected to dip into the 40s by 7 a.m. and plunging into the 20s overnight into Wednesday.

The Grizzly Creek Fire that began Aug. 10 will hit its 30th day on Tuesday. It hasn’t budged for more than a week and is currently 32,464 acres in size — nearly 51 square acres — and 83% contained with 402 people currently involved in firefighting efforts. A smaller Type 3 incident management team is slated to take over leading operations on Wednesday.

Mowry said everyone — from firefighters to local residents — is hopeful that Tuesday’s weather helps with turning the remaining 17% of uncontained fire line to black.

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