Monday morning fire update: Grizzly Creek Fire 33% contained, Pine Gulch 44% contained
Fire activity is expected to increase today, but firefighters will focus on burnout operations in the Bair Ranch area.
The Grizzly Creek Fire started Aug. 10 and is now 30,719 acres in size.
Sunday’s hot, dry weather drove fire activity, with unburned areas in the fire perimeter continuing to smolder, an update from the Great Basin Incident Management Team on Monday.
“Fire was active in the morning in near Bair Ranch and crews conducted burnout operations to secure containment,” the release states. “Engines, heavy equipment, air resources and fire crews were utilized to achieve containment objectives on the west, south and east flanks of the fire. Existing control lines around the fire perimeter continued to hold. Firefighters began mop up operations in some portions of the fire.”
A Burn Area Emergency Response, or BAER, team will also continue its environmental assessment work — similar to work they did in the Hanging Lake area recently.
“In addition to mop-up operations, the BAER team will continue their assessment of the fire’s impact on natural resources,” the release states. “This assessment usually begins before a fire is contained and involves a series of immediate post-fire actions to be taken to repair damages, minimize soil erosion and mitigate impacts from fire suppression activities.”
Monday also saw the reopening of I-70, although Coffee Pot Road, Transfer Trail roads and areas of the Flattops remain closed.
Pine Gulch Fire
Despite strong winds over the past few days, Pine Gulch’s eastern edge has held.
“Nearly the entire eastern perimeter and part of the north is now considered contained,” an update Monday from the Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team states. “Fire behavior is expected to be moderate today; however, passing storm cells have the potential for erratic winds, and this could increase fire behavior and cause growth in the north, west, and south.”
The Pine Gulch fire started July 31 and is now 133,783 acres in size — roughly 5,000 acres smaller than the largest record fire in Colorado history.
Monday’s weather should make for moderate fire activity, but storms could lead to strong winds.
“Fire behavior is expected to be moderate today,” the release states. “However, passing storm cells have the potential for erratic winds, and this could increase fire behavior and cause growth in the north, west, and south.”