Pine Gulch Fire update – focus on suppression repair

Pine Gulch Fire statistics:
Size:
139,007 acres
Containment: 95%
Total personnel: 269
Location: Approximately 18 miles north of Grand Junction, CO
Reported: July 31, approximately 5:15 p.m.
Cause: Lightning

Today’s update: With no fire behavior, many of our firefighters and engines have left the Pine Gulch Fire to help with the too many fires burning out west. We thank them for their service and wish them safe travels! Now the focus here is on suppression repair and fire effects.

Current situation: Another 0.1 inches of rain fell on the Pine Gulch Fire yesterday, making total rainfall since Tuesday about one inch.

Wet weather has increased confidence in fire containment and management, so many firefighters and pieces of firefighting equipment have been released from the fire. The remaining focus of the incident is suppression repair, ensuing actions taken to fight the fire, such as building firelines, do not have long-lasting impacts to natural resources. This work will be managed by a smaller incident management team beginning Saturday.

On the west side of the fire, priority areas for remaining suppression repair work include 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 arrived at the Pine Gulch Fire yesterday. This team, comprised of various experts in fields such as hydrology, biology, soil science, computer modeling, vegetation management, archaeology and recreation, will work with local specialists to evaluate post-fire effects. They will use remote sensing and field observations to gather data and recommend actions.

Weather forecast and fire behavior: Today will be mostly cloudy as a low pressure system slowly moves out of the area. Chance of rain is 50 percent with isolated thunderstorms in the afternoon possible. High temperatures at low elevations will be in the upper 50s and at high elevations in the upper 40s, continuing to melt snow on ridges. Relative humidity will be 35-60 percent. Winds will be mostly terrain-driven, 4-11 mph, with gusts up to 20 mph. A warming and drying trend will continue through the weekend.

With predicted weather and recent wetting rain and snow on the Pine Gulch Fire, fire behavior is not a concern.

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

For more information, see BLM Colorado Fire

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.

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, 2 helicopters, 3 engines, 2 bulldozers, 3 water tenders and overhead/support personnel.

Pine Gulch Fire update – focus on suppression repair