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: 87%
Total Personnel: 600
Location: Approximately 18 miles north of Grand Junction, CO
Reported: July 31, approximately 5:15 p.m.
Cause: Lightning

Resources: 1 Type 1 hand crews, 2 Type 2 hand crews, 2 helicopters, 29 engines, 10 bulldozers, 14 water tenders, 5 masticators 6 skidgens and overhead/support personnel

Special Note: With the upcoming holiday weekend, please check and follow current fire restrictions while you are recreating. Mesa County, Garfield County and the Bureau of Land Management are all under Stage 2 Fire Restrictions. See bit.ly/Fire_Restrictions to see what is prohibited and allowed at this stage.

Current Situation: Firefighters continue to monitor, patrol and mop up the Pine Gulch Fire as well as backhaul unneeded equipment. All but four of the 300 water pumps that were used to protect structures threatened by the fire have been removed. Small areas of heat still persist in the northwest side of the fire in Munger Creek and East Salt Creek (Division D/E). Less fire activity was seen in Munger Creek yesterday than on Wednesday. The area of focus for hand crews continues to be mopping up along the southern rim of the East Salt Creek main canyon. Firefighting personnel and equipment are being released 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 installing water bars on roads, spreading piled up soil/vegetation and mulching cut brush/limbs. Fence repair will continue today in Garby Canyon. Law enforcement officers will escort heavy equipment moving along Highway 139 near Douglas Pass, so motorists may experience delays today. Hand crews are working in tandem with heavy equipment in several sites to help stack brush.

Weather Forecast & Fire Behavior: Mostly clear with high temperatures around 90 at low elevations and in the 80’s at high elevations. Dry, with relative humidity 8 to 14 percent. Winds will mostly be terrain driven, 2-5 mph, with gusts near 20 mph. High Pressure will shift east across the Great Basin and over the Central Rockies this weekend. Expect very dry conditions with poor overnight humidity recoveries today through Sunday. Winds will increase, mainly during afternoon hours when gusts may exceed 25 mph. As a result, an increased potential for critical fire weather conditions exists.

No fire perimeter growth is expected today as smoldering and creeping fire activity will continue within containment lines. Heavy dead and down vegetation remains very dry and will burn despite recent precipitation. Isolated pockets of live and dead vegetation may be visible in the fire’s interior. Surface fire and isolated single tree torching is possible. Firefighters are monitoring these pockets to ensure they pose no threat to containment lines.

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 139County Road 200 at County Line21 Road at entrance to Hunter Canyon16 Road at V8/10 RoadCounty (Roan Creek) Road 204 at 209 intersectionEnd of V2/10 Road at BLM closureQ 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

Open Areas:

County Road 256 east of Douglas Pass Base of Bookcliffs Coal CanyonNorth 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