Extreme fire behavior pushes Pine Gulch Fire to 9,210 acres

Wildfire is in far western Garfield County north of Grand Junction

Incident Type: Wildfire
Update: 4 p.m. – 8.5.20
Size: 9,210 Acres
Contained: 5%

8.5.20 at 11:42 am – Pine Gulch Fire grows to 5,685 acres on Tuesday

The Pine Gulch Fire on Tuesday continued to burn through areas of thick, heavy and extremely dry vegetation. As it burned towards the north and northeast, the fire made several strong fuel-driven uphill runs onto Horse Mountain. In addition to burning in sage and pinyon-juniper, the fire is also burning in mixed conifer as it moves into higher elevations. A multi-mission aircraft (MMA) flight over the fire late Tuesday afternoon estimated the fire at 5,685 acres and containment remained at 5%. Additional resources arrived on Tuesday to join suppression efforts with a total of 232 personnel on the fire as of Tuesday afternoon.

On Wednesday, crews on the south side of the fire will work to keep the fire from moving south of the 910 Road. Firefighters on the north side of the fire will be working on structure protection and removing fuels along the 200 Road. On the southeast side of the fire, will be removing fuels along the X 1/2 Road.

The fire was active on Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning, yet fire activity is expected to increase as temperatures rise through the day and winds increase. As we have seen over the past several days, the Pine Gulch Fire has the potential to generate large amounts of smoke that can affect nearby communities and those downwind. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has issued an Air Quality Health Advisory for northern Mesa County and southwestern Garfield County. More information on that advisory can be found at https://www.colorado.gov/airquality/colo_advisory.aspx.

Weather & Fuel Conditions: Hot, dry and unstable atmospheric conditions will continue on Wednesday and Thursday, though each day will see a degree or so of cooling while the west-southwest winds slightly increase. High temperatures are forecasted in the upper 80s, with humidity in the low teens, and winds gusts in the 20 to 25 mph range.

Closures: There is a closure in place on Mesa County Road X 1/2 after High Lonesome Ranch (275 County Road 222) to prevent nonessential traffic from entering the fire area. The presence of non-fire traffic within the area is a distraction and a hazard to firefighters and members of the public.

Fire Restrictions: Fire danger across the region is rated as very high. Both Mesa County and Garfield County have Stage 1 Fire Restrictions. BLM lands within the Grand Junction Field Office are also under Stage 1 Restrictions. To learn more about fire restrictions on BLM-managed lands in western Colorado, please visit https://go.usa.gov/xfVFY.

A Temporary Flight Restriction is in place over the Pine Gulch Fire. Wildfires are a No Drone Zone. If you fly, we can’t. Whenever a drone is spotted near the fire all aircraft are grounded until we can be sure the drone is clear of the area. Drones are a real danger to aircraft in the air and firefighters on the ground. For more information, visit http://knowbeforeyoufly.org.

InciWeb: Pine Gulch Fire updates

BLM lands within the Grand Junction Field Office are currently under stage 1 fire restrictions.
Fire restrictions on BLM-managed lands in northwest Colorado

Extreme fire behavior pushes Pine Gulch Fire to 9,210 acres