Pine Gulch Fire update

Pine Gulch Fire statistics:
Size:
139,007 acres
Containment: 95%
Total personnel: 253
Location: Approximately 18 miles north of Grand Junction, CO
Reported: July 31, approximately 5:15 p.m.
Cause: Lightning

Special notes: The Bureau of Land Management has reduced its area closure, opening up access to areas outside the fire perimeter. Areas inside the fire perimeter are still closed. See closures, below.

Today the Southern Area Red team is being shadowed by personnel who will manage the incident as we return it back to local agencies tomorrow.

This is the last update on the Pine Gulch Fire as the Southern Area Red Team returns management of the incident back to local agencies Saturday morning. Please contact Eric Coulter, 970-628-5622, ecoulter@blm.gov for information after today. The Southern Area Red Team thanks local agencies, communities and landowners for their outstanding support and cooperation in managing the Pine Gulch Fire.

This morning, representatives from the Southern Area Red Team will join the Grand Junction Fire Department in their tradition of honoring first responders around the nation and the lives of firefighters who died responding to the Twin Towers in New York City on 9/11/2001. Fire service crews across Mesa County will hold a silent remembrance along major roadways, displaying the American flag from overpasses and saluting for three minutes and forty-three seconds to honor 343 firefighters who died on 9/11.

Current situation: Another 0.1- 0.2 in inches of rain fell on the Pine Gulch Fire yesterday, again hampering suppression repair efforts due to muddy roads. Continuing repair of areas damaged by firelines will resume when conditions allow. On the west side of the fire, priority areas for remaining suppression repair work are Douglas Pass, including Highway 139, Barrel Springs Road, County Road 256 and East Salt Creek. In the fire’s interior, priority areas are along Lonesome Ridge. Suppression repair is almost complete on the east side of the fire.

A Burned Area Emergency Response Team is using remote sensing and field observations to gather data to evaluate post-fire effects and recommend actions. The team is comprised of various experts in fields such as hydrology, biology, soil science, computer modeling, vegetation management, archaeology and recreation.

Weather forecast and fire behavior: Today will be mostly cloudy as a low pressure system moves out to the east. High temperatures at low elevations will be 62-69 degrees and at high elevations 45-55 degrees. Relative humidity will be 30-55 percent. Winds will be mostly terrain-driven, 4-11 mph, with gusts up to 25 mph. Drier air will spread across the area today and tomorrow as a ridge of high pressure builds over the Intermountain West. This pattern will promote warmer and drier conditions through the weekend.

Recent wetting rain & snow on the fire have significantly impacted the fire, there are no areas of concern for fire behavior, perimeter growth or fire spread.

Area closure: The Bureau of Land Management area closure has been reduced to lands managed by the agency in the fire perimeter only. Garvey Canyon Road, Coal Gulch Road and 21 Road are open only to the point at which they meet the fire’s edge. Areas beyond them in the fire perimeter are closed. There is no public road access to Barrel Springs Canyon.
For more information, see www.facebook.com/BLMColoradoFire

Open areas:
• County Road 256 east of Douglas Pass
• Coal Canyon
• Southshale Ridge and Corcoran Peak
• Public Lands North of Roan Creek (Garfield County 204)
• Mount Garfield hiking trail to foot travel
• North Fruita Desert (18 Road) campground and bike trails, including the Sarlaac Trail.
• Winter Flats Road, (Mesa County V 2/10 Road)
• Brush Creek and Carr Creek Roads (Garfield County 209 and 207)

The Edge Loop is open to the fire edge, but the Bureau of Land Management recommends users turn around at the mouth of Lippan Wash.

Emergency alerts: For Garfield County, please visit garco911.com. 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. For more information, visit http://knowbeforeyoufly.org.

For more information:
Information office:
(970) 628-0130, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Media inquiries: (970) 812-3706, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Email: 2020.PineGulch@firenet.gov
Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6906/
Facebook: https://facebook.com/PineGulchFireCO
Interactive fire map: https://arcg.is/W0izr
Highway information: https://cotrip.org/home.htm

Equipment and personnel: 1 Type 2 hand crew, 3 engines, 1 bulldozer, 2 water tenders and overhead/support personnel.

Pine Gulch Fire update