Several wildfires blaze across Colorado
July 19, 2016
Fire restrictions went into effect for Grand County late last week. The move from county officials comes after a week that saw three wildfire outbreaks in Grand County as several large wildfires continue to burn throughout the state.
The Beaver Creek Fire north of Walden in North Park continues to burn as firefighters and others work to contain the blaze. The fire had reached a size of 26,527-acres as of Tuesday morning July 19. Containment on the Beaver Creek Fire remains at five percent.
Officials have not changed the expected containment date for the Beaver Creek Fire, which was recently extended to Oct. 21. The Beaver Creek Fire is very active on its south flank and east side with surface fires, single and group torching, short range spotting and short duration crown runs spreading the flames.
Fire officials battling the Beaver Creek blaze expect to see a decrease in fire activity in the coming days as lower temperatures and higher humidity levels impact the conflagration. Details provided on the Federal Government’s Incident Information Network, InciWeb, indicate officials believe the trends in lower temperatures, higher humidity and decreased fire activity will continue over the coming days with the fire’s perimeter growth becoming less active.
“Monsoonal flows are expected Tuesday through Thursday with a strong possibility of isolated thunderstorms, especially in the afternoon. Gusty, erratic outflow winds and potential precipitation are expected with thunderstorms.” States InciWeb.
Firefighters plan to continue monitoring structures and will actively fight the fire using a variety of methods including indirect line construction along with possible aerial and hand ignitions. There are currently 286 personnel working on the Beaver Creek Fire. Investigations into the cause of the Beaver Creek Fire remain ongoing.
The Hayden Pass Fire near Coaldale has also expanded over the last week. The Hayden Pass Fire had expanded to 16,414-acres as of Tuesday morning with containment at 30 percent. Officials have set Oct. 1 as their estimated containment date for the Hayden Pass Fire. Currently there are 847 personnel fighting the Hayden Pass blaze that began on July 8.
Firefighters in the area will continue to construct direct lines and other mop up activities. Officials believe the Hayden Pass Fire will continue spreading in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness nearing places like Rainbow Lake and Brush Creek as the fire asserts itself through minimal isolated torching and creeping. Mandatory evacuations have been issued for several areas impacted by the Hayden Pass Fire.
Another wildfire, comparatively modest in size, is burning a short distance west of Meeker and White River City in northwest Colorado. The Blair Fire has reached 1,140-acres in size and stands at 70 percent containment. The Blair Fire was first reported on June 29 and is primarily burning on Bureau of Land Management administered lands in pinyon junipers and grasses. Federal officials caution drivers heading down Colorado Highway 64 about intermittent periods of smoke across the highway. There are currently 101 personnel battling the Blair Fire.
The Cold Springs Fire just north of Nederland is fully contained. Full containment was reached on July 14. The fire burned a total of 528 acres, mostly on private land.