RMIMT: Pine Gulch Fire at 85,407 acres

Pine Gulch Fire statistics:
85,407 acres
Containment: 7%
Total personnel: 811
Location: Approximately 18 miles north of Grand Junction, CO
Reported: July 31, approximately 5:15 p.m.
Cause: Lightning

8.17.20, 10:01 a.m. – Special notes: There will be a virtual public meeting livestreamed at 6 p.m. TONIGHT, Monday, August 17. Please go to Facebook, @PineGulchFireCO to participate, or you can find the link for a ZOOM meeting on our Facebook page and InciWeb. To utilize ZOOM, enter this code and password: Webinar ID: 979 7398 6417 Passcode: 767681

Current situation: The fire and winds have aligned with drainages in several areas on the west. Fuels in these drainages are critically dry, creating the potential for significant fire behavior, spread and spotting. It is a crucial day for fire staff to implement plans; today presents an opportunity to successfully influence the duration of the Pine Gulch Fire. Crews will be working swiftly to seize control and suppression opportunities. Residents should fully expect to see smoke columns established in several areas of the fire today – multiple columns may be visible at once.

Fire staff will prioritize work in Divisions K, E, and D today. Fire in Division E on the west is approaching the indirect control line extending south along the ridge from the 204 Rd. to the Division E/D break. Firefighters will continue work on this line and, if conditions allow, may perform firing operations to help prevent fire spread toward the 205 Rd. Firefighters and heavy equipment have been successfully preparing the 205 Rd. as a secondary control line and will continue this work today. On the NW, in Division F, firefighters are scouting and creating secondary control line between the fire and Douglas Pass. Crews are also improving road systems to the SW of the fire in the event the fire grows in that direction. Division D on the southwest was active again yesterday, burning S and SW along Garfield Mesa and Ross Ridge. Firefighters are working on improving a two-track that runs from the southern tip of the fire area into the Hunter Fire burn scar, and they are scouting for ways to connect this line around the SW corner of the fire, back up to the Division D/E break. Excellent progress has been made in Divisions A and Z, and they are mostly in patrol and monitor status. Crews will continue to secure the fire’s edge in these two divisions.

Weather & fuel conditions: Temperatures highs of 95 and humidity 8-10%. Today will be smokey, as the inversion is not likely to lift until around 5 p.m. – if at all. Winds are from the N to NE, 4-9 mph throughout the day, with gusts up to 14 mph. Similar wind conditions as yesterday will exist in Divs. D and E, with winds coming from the S to SW and meeting up with northernly winds later in the afternoon.

Evacuations: Garfield County: Roan Creek (204) road, Clear Creek (211) road, Carr Creek (207) road, Brush Creek (209) road, CR 202. For more information: https://garfieldcounty.net/. Closures: Roan Creek Road (204) at North Dry Fork (200) road has a staffed closure. Travel is not recommended along the 21 Road north of Fruita or on the 16 Road/CR 205 north of the V 8/10 Rd. Barricades are in place on these roads.

Air quality: Air Quality Health Advisories may be issued in areas near the Pine Gulch and Grizzly Creek fires. A smoke outlook for the Pine Gulch Fire is available where this update is posted and at https://fires.airfire.org/outlooks/WesternColorado. For more information on smoke levels, please visit https://airnow.gov.

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
Smoke outlook: https://fires.airfire.org/outlooks/WesternColorado

Resources include: 5 Type 1 hand crews, 8 Type 2 hand crews, 9 helicopters, 55 engines, 8 bulldozers, 14 water tenders, and overhead/support personnel

RMIMT: Pine Gulch Fire at 85,407 acres