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: 83%
Total Personnel: 578
Location: Approximately 18 miles north of
Grand Junction, CO
Reported: July 31, approximately 5:15 p.m.
Cause: Lightning
Resources: 3 Type 1 hand crews, 5 Type 2 hand crews, 2 helicopters, 34 engines, 10 bulldozers, 19 water tenders, 5 masticators 3 skidgens and overhead/support personnel 

Current situation: Firefighters continue to monitor, patrol and mop up the Pine Gulch Fire and backhaul equipment. Yesterday was a quiet day for fire behavior due to some rain, cooler temperatures and higher humidity over the past few days, but small areas of heat still persist in the northwest side of the fire. Today, an area of focus for hand crews is mopping up along the southern rim of the East Salt Creek main canyon, (Division D/E). Firefighting personnel and equipment are being released from the fire as the fire approaches full containment. 

Assessing and repairing damage from fire suppression continues throughout the fire perimeter and interior. 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. Fence repair will begin today in Garby Canyon. Law enforcement officers will escort heavy equipment moving along Highway 139 near Douglas Pass, so motorists may experience delays. Hand crews are working in tandem with heavy equipment in several sites to help stack brush. 

Weather Forecast & Fire Behavior: Sunny with high temperatures at low elevations in the mid 80’s and at high elevations near 80 degrees. Relative humidity will be around 15 percent. Winds will be from the 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 weekend, when winds will increase and blow from the southwest. 

No fire perimeter growth is expected today and smoldering and creeping fire activity will continue within containment lines. Isolated pockets of live and dead vegetation will continue to burn in the fire’s interior. 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 with the upcoming holiday weekend, please check and follow current fire restrictions while you are recreating. 

Area Closure: A Bureau of Land Management area closure is in effect for lands managed by the agency in the fire area. Areas are closed beyond the following road junctions: 

266 Road at Highway 139 County Road 200 at County Line 21 Road at entrance to Hunter Canyon 16 Road at V8/10 Road County (Roan Creek) Road 204 at 209 intersection End of V2/10 Road at BLM closure Q 5/10 Road at 18 Road  Garvey Canyon Road 

Note: Motorists may encounter delays in the Douglas Pass area of Highway 139 and County Road 256. For more information, please see www.facebook.com/BLMColoradoFire 

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Open Areas:  

County Road 256 east of Douglas Pass  Base of Bookcliffs  Coal Canyon  North Fruita Desert, 18 Road, campground and bike trails  V 2/10 Road north of the Wild Horse Management Area  Mount Garfield hiking trail to foot travel 

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