Pine Gulch Fire update

Southern Area Red Team – Mike Dueitt, Incident Commander
Information Center: (970) 628-0130, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Media Inquiries: (970) 812-3706, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Pine Gulch Fire Statistics:
Size: approximately 139,007 acres
Containment: 79%
Total Personnel: 686
Location: Approximately 18 miles north of
Grand Junction, CO
Reported: July 31, approximately 5:15 p.m.
Cause: Lightning
Resources: 2 Type 1 hand crews, 7 Type 2 hand crews, 3 helicopters, 34 engines, 11 bulldozers, 20 water tenders, 3 masticators 6 skidgens and overhead/support personnel

Virtual Public Meeting TomorrowFire personnel will hold a virtual public meeting Tuesday, September 1 at 6:00 pm via Facebook and Zoom. Information on how to join will be in tomorrow’s update.   

Current Situation: The focus of operations for the Pine Gulch Fire is now assessing, prioritizing, and repairing damage from fire suppression activities that were needed to contain the fire.  These repairs will return the land to pre-fire conditions as much as possible. Today’s map reflects work needed to be done in redPlease note that red on the suppression repair map does not mean unsecured fire lines. Priority areas for this work include areas needed for access by oil and gas companies and hunters. The speed of work will depend on how accessible areas are for bringing in heavy equipment. Areas where the equipment must be walked in will take the longest to complete. Good progress was made for suppression repair on the east side of the fire yesterday. Work will continue on the east side today and will begin northwest of the fire, working from Road 256 south. Fire personnel will continue to contact private landowners over the next few days to secure permission to do suppression repair on their properties. Although suppression repair is underway, infrared flights show hot spots still exist on the interior of the fire and in some areas near firelines. In light of today’s red flag warning, firefighters will monitor areas where fires may flare up and are ready to respond to fire spread if necessary. 

Weather Forecast & Fuel Conditions: There is a Red Flag Warning for dry and windy conditions today. Ridge winds will gust to more than 30 mph and relative humidity will be in the lower teens. Winds will shift direction throughout the day. Gusts will begin after noon and last through the evening ahead of a cold front. Thunderstorms are possible in the afternoon, more likely after 6:00 pm. Lighting, gusty winds and heavy rainfall are possible overnight, which can lead to flash-flooding and debris flows. Winds at the top of the East Salt Creek drainage will gust stronger than other ridgetops due to channeling effects of southwest winds. High temperatures today will be in the upper 80’s at lower elevations and the low 80’s at higher elevations.  

Despite the red flag warning, fire activity is expected to be minimal, with continued creeping and smoldering, but new ignitions have potential for rapid fire spread in continuous dry grass and shrubs. 

Evacuations and Pre-Evacuations: Evacuations and pre-evacuations are changing in Garfield County as fire activity decreases. Please go to: www.garfield-county.com and scroll down to the “evacuations” tab for the most recent updates. There are currently no pre-evacuations or evacuations in Mesa County: www.sheriff.mesacounty.us/FireInformationClosures: Roan Creek Road (204) at North Dry Fork (200). The 21 Road north of the BLM boundary, 16 Road at V 8/10 Road, and the Q 5/10 Road is closed at 18 Rd. Some BLM lands in the fire area are still closed. Please see: www.facebook.com/BLMColoradoFire 

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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

Pine Gulch Fire update