Pine Gulch Fire Update

Pine Gulch Fire Statistics: 
Size: approximately 139,007 acres 
Containment: 81%  Total personnel: 658 
Location: Approximately 18 miles north of  Grand Junction, CO 
Reported: July 31, approximately 5:15 p.m. 
Cause: Lightning   

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. 

Special Notes: Bureau of Land Management Closure Areas for the Pine Gulch Fire have decreased and there are no longer evacuation or pre-evacuation orders for the Pine Gulch Fire. Last night Garfield County Sheriff’s Office announced all evacuation and pre-evacuation orders for the Pine Gulch Fire have been lifted. Road closures are still in effect at this time. See Closures below for more information. 

Current Situation: Firefighters continue to monitor, patrol and mop up the Pine Gulch Fire. Yesterday they did a reconnaissance flight over the fire to check for hot spots and assess containment lines made by aircraft. They saw fire slowly backing down in interior isolated areas in drainages along the southern fire edge in the Munger Creek area (Division B). Creeping and smoldering fire was also seen along drainages along the southern rim of the East Salt Creek main canyon, (Division D/E), so hand crews and engines worked to cool that area. 

Repairing damage from fire suppression continues throughout the fire and perimeter. Good progress is being made with work such as restoring water bars on roads, spreading piled up dirt and vegetation and mulching cut brush and limbs. Suppression repair on the east and northwest sides of the fire (Divisions Z and D/E) continued. Work on County Road 256 helped open access to hunters as archery season begins today. Yesterday suppression repair work began in the East Salt Canyon area north of Highway 139. Specialized heavy equipment has been ordered to complete suppression repair work. 

Weather Forecast & Fire Behavior: Mostly sunny with high temperatures at low elevations near 80 degrees and at high elevations near 75 degrees. Relative humidity will be 15-20 percent. Winds will be from the northwest/west northwest with gusts up to 20 mph this afternoon. High pressure building across the Great Basin will bring temperatures 5-10 degrees above normal and relative humidity below 15 percent through the end of the week, when winds will increase and shift to the southwest.  

No fire perimeter growth is expected and smoldering and creeping fire activity will continue within containment lines. Isolated pockets of live and dead vegetation will continue to burn in the interior of the fire. With increasing winds and dry conditions, elevated fire weather conditions may once again develop. New ignitions outside current containment lines have potential for active fire spread, so the public is asked to observe fire restrictions and follow fire prevention measures,  

Major Closures: 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.  

Today the BLM reduced its closure area, opening up areas northwest, west and south of the fire. Garvey Canyon Road remains closed. County Road 256 east of Douglas Pass is now open, but motorists may encounter delays. North Fruita Desert 18 Road, campground and bike trails are now open as well as the base of Bookcliffs and Coal Canyon. V 2/10 Road north of the Wild Horse Management area and County Road 209 are also open. Mount Garfield hiking trail remains open to foot travel. Please see: www.facebook.com/BLMColoradoFire  

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 Include: 3 Type 1 hand crews, 6 Type 2 hand crews, 3 helicopters, 33 engines, 10 bulldozers, 19 water tenders, 2 masticators 3 skidgens and overhead/support personnel 

Pine Gulch Fire Update