Fire north of Sweetwater at 40 percent containment; aerial operations continue
EAGLE COUNTY — Crews that arrived during the evening of Thursday, Oct. 18, and the morning of Friday, Oct. 19, reached 40 percent containment for the Johnny Meyers fire located 2 miles northwest of Sweetwater Lake in the Eagle Holy Cross Ranger District of the White River National Forest.
The fire has consumed 88 acres, and its cause is under investigation. There are 55 firefighters on the scene.
Two helicopters aided crews with bucket drops on hot spots, while firefighters built direct containment lines on the perimeter of the fire. According to Rick Truex, acting U.S. Forest Service district ranger, the eastern edge of the fire remains moderately active, burning in some sage and aspen.
The fire did not grow overnight after it was reported Thursday. Originally estimated to cover 70 acres, the increase in acreage is due to more accurate mapping.
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“We are encouraged by the increase in containment on this fire,” Truex said. “Crews continue to diligently work to suppress this fire. In the meantime, we can’t emphasize enough how important it is for hunters and the public to avoid this area, as we have multiple hand crews, support staff and aircraft working there at this time and firefighter and public safety is our top priority.”
No evacuations or closures are in place at this time.
Similar weather conditions — temperatures around 40 degrees and breezy winds — are expected to continue through Saturday, Oct. 20. Some smoke from the fire may be visible from the Colorado River Road.
Because aerial operations at the site are ongoing, the public is advised to refrain from flying drones in the area.
“Remember, if you fly, we can’t,” Truex said.
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It’s fitting that Eagle County is proceeding through its reopening phases of COVID-19 in an analogy to ski run difficulties — green to blue to black. Monday marks the transition from the green beginner phase to the blue intermediate phase.