BLM rescinds fire restrictions in Moffat County

CRAIG, Colo. – The Little Snake and White River Field Offices will rescind fire restrictions on BLMmanaged lands in Moffat County on Friday, November 6 at 12:01 a.m. BLM public lands in Grand, Jackson,
Larimer, and Summit Counties remain in Stage 2 fire restrictions.

“The recent cooler weather and increased moisture have reduced the threat of extreme fire behavior in Moffat County,” said Little Snake Field Manager Bruce Sillitoe. “However, fuels remain extremely dry, and several large fires in northern Colorado are still burning. As always, we need visitors to be sure to use fire only where allowed and have plenty of water on hand to douse them before leaving.”

Stage 2 fire restrictions prohibit the following activities:

  1. Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire 36 CFR 261.52(a). This includes charcoal grills and barbecues, coal and wood burning stoves and sheepherders’ stoves and includes use in developed camping and picnic grounds. EXCEPT: Devices using pressurized liquid or gas (stoves, grills, or lanterns) that include shut-off valves are permitted when used in an area at least three feet or more from flammable material such as grasses or pine needles.
  2. Smoking. 36 CFR 261.52(c) EXCEPT: Within enclosed vehicle, trailer, or building.
  3. Welding or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame. 36 CFR 261.52(i).
  4. Operating or using any internal combustion engine (e.g. chainsaw, generator, ATV) without a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained and in effective working order meeting either: (a)
    Department of Agriculture, Forest Service Standard 5100-1a; or (b) Appropriate Society of automotive Engineers (SAE) recommended practice J335(b) and J350(a). 36 CFR 261.52(j)
  5. Operating a chainsaw without an approved spark arresting device as described in Prohibition #4, a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher (8 oz. capacity by weight or larger and kept with the operator)
    and a round point shovel with an overall length of at least 35 inches readily available for use. 36 CFR 261.52(h).
  6. Using an explosive. 36 CFR 261.52(b). This includes but is not limited to fuses or blasting caps, fireworks, rockets, exploding targets, and tracers or incendiary. must be in the physical possession of the person or persons undertaking the exempted activities. 2. Any federal, state, or local officer, or member of an organized rescue or fire fighting force in the performance of an official duty is exempt from Prohibitions #1, #3, #4 and #5.
  7. Possessing or using a motor vehicle off established roads, motorized trails or established parking areas, except when parking in an area devoid or vegetation within 10 feet of the vehicle. 36 CFR 261.52
    Fire restrictions will be in place until further notice. In addition to criminal penalties, those found responsible for starting wildfires may also face restitution costs of suppressing the fire. BLM fire restriction orders and maps of restriction areas are available at Northwest District Fire Restrictions page. A full description of fire restriction stages 1 and 2 is available from the Rocky Mountain Area Coordination Center.
BLM rescinds fire restrictions in Moffat County

BLM: Fire danger remains high; officials urge caution where fire allowed

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – With much of western Colorado experiencing extreme to exceptional drought, Stage 1 fire restrictions remain in effect on BLM public lands in the Colorado River Valley, Grand Junction, Kremmling, and White River Field Offices, along with Eagle, Garfield, Mesa, Pitkin, Rio Blanco, and Summit counties.

“Extended drought conditions have created extremely dry fuels. Any small ignition is at high risk of growing very large, very quickly,” said Grand Junction Field Manager Greg Wolfgang. “We absolutely need people to comply with fire restrictions.”

“With the unprecedented conditions that are driving the current fires on the Front Range and increased visitation by hunters, we want to emphasize the importance of everyone thinking differently than we normally do this time of year,” said Colorado River Valley Field Manager, Larry Sandoval. “Any fire could have the same results of what we are seeing on the Front Range.”

Visitors to public lands should know that they could be held financially liable for suppression costs associated with any fire for which they are determined to be responsible.

Both the public and fire personnel are reporting frequent illegal and unattended campfires, extinguishing about one human-caused wildfire per day. Stage 1 fire restrictions only allow campfires in designated, agency-provided grates within developed recreation sites. Where fires are allowed, they must be completely extinguished with plenty of water until they are cool to the touch before leaving them. 

BLM fire restriction orders and maps of restriction areas are available at Upper Colorado River Fire and Aviation. General information about fire restrictions throughout Colorado is available at http://www.coemergency.com/p/fire-bans-danger.html. Fire restrictions will be in place until further notice.

BLM: Fire danger remains high; officials urge caution where fire allowed

Transfer Trail now open

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. –The White River National Forest and Bureau of Land Management have opened the Transfer Trail Road to public access, now that fire-line suppression repair in that area is complete.

The closure covering the fire perimeter remains unchanged. Maps of the closure and fire perimeter are available at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6942.

“We ask that people visiting the area respect the fire closure because there still is some activity in the upper Grizzly Creek drainage and within the interior of the fire perimeter,” said Incident Commander Trainee Doug Lesch. “Fire personnel and air resources are still being used to hinder fire spread, and we anticipate red flag warnings in the upcoming days that could change fire behavior at any time.”

Hiking trails into the burned area including Hanging Lake, Grizzly Creek and No Name remain closed.

The BLM boat launch at Dotsero Landing remains open for take-out only. Cottonwood Landing above Dotsero remains open for put-in and take-out. (Lyons Gulch and Catamount close for construction Monday). The Colorado River recreation areas from Dotsero through Glenwood Canyon to No Name remain closed.

The Grizzly Creek Fire has not grown in several weeks. It remains 32,431 acres and 91 percent contained. There are 11 firefighters assigned. Additional resources including aircraft are available if activity increases.

Transfer Trail now open

Pine Gulch Fire reaches 100 percent containment

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — The Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire and Aviation Management Unit’s Type 3 Incident Management Team gained 100 percent containment today and have transitioned command to the local Type 4 Incident Management Team.  

Fire crews were able to contain the Pine Gulch Fire and complete majority of the suppression repair. The Type 4 team will continue to monitor the fire, mop up, and finalize any remaining needs for suppression repair.  

The BLM Grand Junction Field Office still has a closure order in place for the perimeter of the fire while post-fire efforts continue. Local BLM staff in coordination with the Burned Area Emergency Team will continue to develop plans for emergency stabilization and rehabilitation to the burned area.  

Pine Gulch Fire reaches 100 percent containment

BLM: Lyons and Catamount construction – recreation sites to be closed up to four weeks

SILT, Colo. – The Bureau of Land Management plans to improve two recreation sites along the Upper Colorado River. Construction at Lyons Gulch and Catamount recreation sites will limit public access for up to four weeks beginning September 28.

At Lyons Gulch, a new concrete boat ramp will be constructed, and brush will be removed. These improvements will improve access and reduce site congestion. The BLM will keep a few campsites open along the south side of the recreation site to limit impacts to public recreation, however the boat launch/take-out will be closed. Boaters should plan to use Horse Creek, Cottonwood Island, and/or Dotsero Landing recreation sites instead.

The Catamount campground and parking area will be enlarged to serve increasing public use along the river. As a result, camping, parking, and the boat ramp will be closed during construction. Day floats from Two Bridges to Catamount will not be possible, so visitors should either plan to float upstream, taking out at Two Bridges, or put in below Burns at Pinball boat ramp. The float from Two Bridges to Pinball is 20 river miles – a longer trip than the average day float.

“The Upper Colorado River is one of our defining natural features as well as a popular summertime visitor attraction,” said Colorado River Valley Field Manager Larry Sandoval. “Consistent with recent land acquisitions to expand public river access, these upgrades will improve and increase opportunities for recreation, helping us to better meet demand.”

Signs will be posted in the project areas, and construction will wrap up as quickly as possible.

BLM: Lyons and Catamount construction – recreation sites to be closed up to four weeks

Forest Service and BLM further reduce Grizzly Creek Fire closure area

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. – The White River National Forest and Bureau of Land Management are further reducing the area closed for the Grizzly Creek Fire as more suppression repair work has been completed and fire activity has continued to moderate.

Beginning Saturday, Sept. 19 the area closure will be reduced to include only the area burned by the Grizzly Creek Fire (the fire perimeter) and the Transfer Trail Road.

“Suppression repair work is continuing on Transfer Trail, and we anticipate we will be able to open that road next weekend,” said White River Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams. “The fire perimeter remains closed both for public safety and to reduce additional impacts to the burned areas.”

“We know there is a lot of interest in accessing these areas for recreation, including hunting,” said BLM Colorado River Valley Field Manager Larry Sandoval. “We’ve continued to work with firefighters to reduce the closure area where it is safe to do so.”

Hiking trails into the burned area including Hanging Lake, Grizzly Creek and No Name remain closed.

The BLM boat launch at Dotsero Landing remains open for take-out only. Lyon’s Gulch and Cottonwood Landing above Dotsero remain open for put-in and take-out. The Colorado River recreation areas from Dotsero through Glenwood Canyon to No Name remain closed.

The Grizzly Creek Fire has not grown in several weeks. It remains 32,341 acres and 91 percent contained.

Maps of the closure and fire are available online at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6942/, https://www.fs.usda.gov/whiteriver, and https://www.blm.gov/colorado.

Forest Service and BLM further reduce Grizzly Creek Fire closure area

BLM: Mixed bag of Stage 1 and 2 fire restrictions in northwest Colorado

SILT, Colo. – As a result of recent cooler weather and increased moisture, the BLM’s Colorado River Valley Field Office and the Eagle County portion of the Kremmling Field Office, along with Eagle, Garfield, and Pitkin Counties will revert from Stage 2 to Stage 1 fire restrictions on Friday September 18.
“As fire restrictions are scaled back to Stage 1, public land visitors are asked to be cautious with fires in places where they are allowed,” said Colorado River Valley Field Manager Larry Sandoval.

“Large fires in Colorado and across the West are still impacting availability of firefighting resources, so we urge everyone to do their part to prevent human-caused fires. Stage 1 fire restrictions prohibit the following acts:
• Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire or campfire except within approved fire grates at developed recreation sites.
• Smoking, except in an enclosed vehicle or building, developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is clear of flammable materials.
• Operating a chainsaw without a USDA or SAE approved, working spark arrestor and properly installed, a chemical fire extinguisher of at least 8 ounces capacity by weight, and one round-point shovel with an overall length of at least 36 inches.
• Using a welder, either arc or gas, or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame, except in cleared areas of at least 10 feet in diameter with a chemical fire extinguisher of at least 8 ounces capacity.
• Using exploding targets.

Grand, Jackson, Moffat, Rio Blanco, Routt, and Summit counties, along with BLM’s White River, Little Snake, and Kremmling Field Offices in those counties, will remain in Stage 2 fire restrictions. The need for and level of fire restrictions are evaluated each week. Decisions are based on local conditions, including recent and predicted weather, drought, occurrence of human-caused fires, fuel moisture, likelihood of ignition, and whether existing fires are currently affecting availability of wildland firefighting resources.

BLM fire restriction orders and maps of restriction areas are available at Northwest District Fire Restrictions page. General information about fire restrictions throughout Colorado is available at http://www.coemergency.com/p/fire-bans-danger.html.

Fire restrictions will be in place until further notice. In addition to criminal penalties, those found responsible for starting wildfires may also face restitution costs of suppressing the fire.

BLM: Mixed bag of Stage 1 and 2 fire restrictions in northwest Colorado

National Interagency Team: Pine Gulch Fire Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER)

BAER stands for Burned Area Emergency Response, a federal program that addresses post fire effects on public lands. Wildfires can cause complex ecological problems, from severe loss of vegetation and soil erosion, to a decrease in water quality, and flash flooding. The BAER program addresses post-fire emergency stabilization of these and other post wildfire problems, in order to protect public safety and prevent further degradation of the landscapes.

The BAER assessment team composition is determined both by the size of the fire and the nature of values potentially threatened by post-fire effects. Generally, specialists in soils, hydrology, geology, engineering, wildlife, botany, and archaeology assess the fire’s effects and predict the post-fire effects. Each resource specialist brings a unique perspective to the BAER process, to help the team rapidly determine whether the post-fire effects constitute urgent threats to human life, safety, property, or critical natural and cultural resources and to produce an integrated plan to respond to those threats.

The objective of the BAER program is to determine the need for and to prescribe and implement emergency treatments on federal lands to minimize threats to life and property resulting from the effects of a fire or to stabilize and prevent unacceptable degradation to natural and cultural resources. During the assessment stage, the BAER process may identify values at risk on private of other jurisdiction lands, those issues will be communicated to the cooperators. Severely burned areas, steep slopes, places where water runoff will be excessive, fragile slopes above homes, businesses, municipal water supplies, and other valuable facilities are focus areas.

The BAER Team for the Pine Gulch Fire is currently working with the Fire Management Team, local agencies, has began analyzing data, developing projection models, and will begin working with landowners and stakeholders on findings.

Find more information about BAER Teams.

National Interagency Team: Pine Gulch Fire Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER)

Pine Gulch Fire update

Pine Gulch Fire statistics:
Size:
139,007 acres
Containment: 95%
Total personnel: 253
Location: Approximately 18 miles north of Grand Junction, CO
Reported: July 31, approximately 5:15 p.m.
Cause: Lightning

Special notes: The Bureau of Land Management has reduced its area closure, opening up access to areas outside the fire perimeter. Areas inside the fire perimeter are still closed. See closures, below.

Today the Southern Area Red team is being shadowed by personnel who will manage the incident as we return it back to local agencies tomorrow.

This is the last update on the Pine Gulch Fire as the Southern Area Red Team returns management of the incident back to local agencies Saturday morning. Please contact Eric Coulter, 970-628-5622, ecoulter@blm.gov for information after today. The Southern Area Red Team thanks local agencies, communities and landowners for their outstanding support and cooperation in managing the Pine Gulch Fire.

This morning, representatives from the Southern Area Red Team will join the Grand Junction Fire Department in their tradition of honoring first responders around the nation and the lives of firefighters who died responding to the Twin Towers in New York City on 9/11/2001. Fire service crews across Mesa County will hold a silent remembrance along major roadways, displaying the American flag from overpasses and saluting for three minutes and forty-three seconds to honor 343 firefighters who died on 9/11.

Current situation: Another 0.1- 0.2 in inches of rain fell on the Pine Gulch Fire yesterday, again hampering suppression repair efforts due to muddy roads. Continuing repair of areas damaged by firelines will resume when conditions allow. On the west side of the fire, priority areas for remaining suppression repair work are 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 is using remote sensing and field observations to gather data to evaluate post-fire effects and recommend actions. The team is comprised of various experts in fields such as hydrology, biology, soil science, computer modeling, vegetation management, archaeology and recreation.

Weather forecast and fire behavior: Today will be mostly cloudy as a low pressure system moves out to the east. High temperatures at low elevations will be 62-69 degrees and at high elevations 45-55 degrees. Relative humidity will be 30-55 percent. Winds will be mostly terrain-driven, 4-11 mph, with gusts up to 25 mph. Drier air will spread across the area today and tomorrow as a ridge of high pressure builds over the Intermountain West. This pattern will promote warmer and drier conditions through the weekend.

Recent wetting rain & snow on the fire have significantly impacted the fire, there are no areas of concern for fire behavior, perimeter growth or fire spread.

Area closure: The Bureau of Land Management area closure has been reduced to lands managed by the agency in the fire perimeter only. Garvey Canyon Road, Coal Gulch Road and 21 Road are open only to the point at which they meet the fire’s edge. Areas beyond them in the fire perimeter are closed. There is no public road access to Barrel Springs Canyon.
For more information, see www.facebook.com/BLMColoradoFire

Open areas:
• County Road 256 east of Douglas Pass
• Coal Canyon
• Southshale Ridge and Corcoran Peak
• Public Lands North of Roan Creek (Garfield County 204)
• Mount Garfield hiking trail to foot travel
• North Fruita Desert (18 Road) campground and bike trails, including the Sarlaac Trail.
• Winter Flats Road, (Mesa County V 2/10 Road)
• Brush Creek and Carr Creek Roads (Garfield County 209 and 207)

The Edge Loop is open to the fire edge, but the Bureau of Land Management recommends users turn around at the mouth of Lippan Wash.

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, 3 engines, 1 bulldozer, 2 water tenders and overhead/support personnel.

Pine Gulch Fire update

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