Pine Gulch Fire Statistics:
Size: 73,381 acres
Total personnel: 794
Location: Approximately 18 miles north of Grand Junction, CO
Reported: July 31, approximately 5:15 p.m.
Resources include: 3 Type 1 hand crews, 7 Type 2 hand crews, 6 helicopters, 57 engines, 4 bulldozers, 17 water tenders, and overhead/support personnel
Pine Gulch Fire Update, August 14, 2020 – 10 a.m. –
Current situation: An overnight mapping flight measured the Pine Gulch Fire, which is burning 18 miles north of Grand Junction, at 73,381 acres and it remains 7 % contained. Operations today will focus on monitoring/patrolling and improving previously constructed fire lines, as well as scouting additional options in anticipation of afternoon winds out of the northwest. Burnout operations will take place only if fire behavior dictates, especially in areas closest to values at risk. Bulldozers and hand crews will continue to work the northern edge and along 204 Road on the east side.
The northwestern edge in Division E was the most active yesterday, and crews will continue to work on securing the fire line and tying in to the Division K line that has been holding well along 204 Rd. Division Z has been fairly quiet over the past several days, but afternoon winds may cause increased activity in that area. Structure protection crews will be out developing plans for areas southeast of the fire perimeter. Night shift made good progress in securing additional line overnight.
Special note: The Rocky Mountain Type 1 Incident Management Team (IMT), with Dan Dallas as Incident Commander, assumed command of the Pine Gulch Fire this morning at 6 a.m. The team would like to acknowledge the great work that was done by Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team Black and wish them safe travels home.
Weather & fuel conditions: Temperatures are expected to remain in the upper 80s with relative humidities still in the single digits. Winds should be lighter today but will be out of the west/northwest this afternoon. Down valley winds will be at 7-10 mph with gusts up to 15 mph. Afternoon winds should moderate fire activity in the W/NW areas of the fire but could create increased fire behavior to the E/SE in the afternoon.
Closures and evacuations: Garfield County Sheriff’s Office issued an evacuation order for residents on Roan Creek (204) road, Clear Creek (211) road, Carr Creek (207) road and Brush Creek (209) road on Sunday night. Garfield County issued an evacuation order for residences on CR 202 on Saturday. For more information on evacuation orders, please visit https://garfieldcounty.net/. There is a road closure in effect on Roan Creek Road (204) at North Dry Fork (200) road; that closure is being staffed by a sheriff’s deputy.
Air quality: Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has issued an Air Quality Health Advisory for northern Mesa County, and central and eastern Garfield County. A smoke outlook for the Pine Gulch Fire is available where this update is posted and at https://fires.airfire.org/outlooks/WesternColorado. Continued widespread smoke from the Pine Gulch fire will impact many parts of Colorado on Wednesday. Areas affected downwind from the fires North to Meeker, along the I-70 corridor, and as far east as the Front Range region and the eastern plains. This will bring periods of mainly ‘moderate’ to ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups’ levels of smoke to areas northeast of the fire including Garfield County and Rio Blanco County, however brief periods of heavy smoke will also be possible. For more information on smoke levels, please visit https://airnow.gov.
Emergency alerts: Both Mesa and Garfield counties have emergency alert systems to alert citizens – by cell or land line phone – about emergencies, evacuations, and other important community news. To sign up for alerts in Garfield County, please visit garco911.com. For Mesa County alerts, please visit bit.ly/Emergency_Alerts.
Temporary flight restrictions: 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. For more information, visit http://knowbeforeyoufly.org.