Freeman Fire now 40 percent contained |

Freeman Fire now 40 percent contained

Daily staff report

CARBONDALE — The Freeman Fire, in southwest Eagle County near Ruedi Reservoir, is 40 percent contained as of Tuesday morning. There was minimal fire growth Monday and no growth overnight. The fire is holding at approximately 336 acres.

“We are pleased to report 40 percent containment on the Freeman Fire,” said Kevin Warner, district ranger. “Firefighter and public safety remain key focus areas of the operation. Yesterday’s high wind gusts created some operational challenges, but fire crews made great progress on the fireline despite the wind. Today we will focus aerial resources on the northern part of the fire to subdue flame activity.”

Wind gusts kept aerial resources on the ground for most of the day Monday. Crews on the south and west flank of the fire continued mop-up operations working in from the perimeter, identifying hotspots and dousing them with dirt and water. On Monday, Hotshots completed the hand and saw line on the east flank of the fire. The fire is completely lined on the west, south and east portions of the fire up to the aspen stand at the top of the ridgeline, authorities said.

The aspen stand at the northern part of the fire on the ridgeline is still actively burning and producing smoke, authorities said. Responders have decided to not use direct suppression methods with ground crews in this area due to the presence of hazard trees and snags. Instead, two helicopters will conduct water bucket drops throughout the morning on the aspen stand to subdue the fire.

Within the southern half of the fire perimeter, there is minimal fire activity. Some isolated hotspots and smokes in the center of the fire perimeter still exist. On Tuesday, crews will continue mop-up operations around the east, west and southern perimeter of the fire.

There are still 99 personnel on the fire for the day; however the two Hotshot crews will leave today, leaving the fire with approximately 50 personnel. Resources on the fire today include two helicopters; two hot shot crews; two 20-person hand crews; three state engines and one federal engine.

There continues to be no evacuation notices or pre-evacuation notices at this time. Additionally, there are no road closures, trail closures or area closures at this time.

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