CDOT: Preparing travelers for Glenwood Canyon – fall 2020

I-70 in Glenwood Canyon
Motorists should prepare for reduced speeds, no stopping in the canyon and safety closures due to debris flow and other weather-related events. CDOT also urges travelers to stay focused on the road and avoid distracted driving. If there is moderate, heavy or extreme rain in Glenwood Canyon over the Grizzly Creek burn scar, it is very likely there will be a debris flow, mudslides or rockfall. In order to maintain safety on I-70 in Glenwood Canyon, CDOT has a plan in place for protecting the traveling public when there could be a debris flow, mudslides or rockfall.

Safety closures
If there is a flash flood watch for the Grizzly Creek burn scar, CDOT will have personnel and equipment on standby in preparation for a closure. If there is a flash flood warning for the Grizzly Creek burn scar, CDOT will close I-70 in Glenwood Canyon from Exit 116 (Glenwood Springs) to 133 (Dotsero). All traffic will be affected and CDOT will immediately evacuate travelers from the canyon . During the closure, CDOT will monitor the roadway for debris flow, mudslides and rockfall. Personnel and
equipment will be ready to clear the road of debris and assess damage before reopening. CDOT will reopen I-70 in Glenwood Canyon once we’ve confirmed it is safe for the traveling public.

Note: A flash flood advisory is the step between a watch and a warning. In the event of a flash flood advisory , CDOT will be on standby in the same way as during a flash flood watch.

How to plan ahead
Motorists who are planning to travel on I-70 in Glenwood Canyon should pay close attention to weather forecasts. If there is rain in the forecast, be prepared for a closure on I-70 in the canyon. CDOT recommends picking an alternate route in case the canyon closes . Please refer to www.COtrip.org for the latest road conditions and route options. Motorists should be wary of using GPS navigation apps for searching alternate routes, since not all platforms provide up-to-date information. Travelers should avoid
using county or forest roads as alternate routes, as road conditions may not be favorable. CDOT also recommends that travelers bring an emergency kit, with water, snacks, a flashlight and a blanket, as mountain conditions often change suddenly in the fall season.

Driving in the canyon
Travelers are not allowed to stop in Glenwood Canyon while traveling on I-70. This is to protect the traveling public from debris flows, mudslides or rockfall in the canyon. In order to clear the canyon as quickly as possible during a closure, it is important for travelers to be in their vehicles while in the canyon. CDOT is working closely with Garfield and Eagle counties to prevent emergency search and rescue missions during a debris flow or other impacts. By keeping travelers in their cars and moving, we can better prevent search and rescue missions.

Rest areas
Rest areas in Glenwood Canyon are closed, in order to keep travelers on the road while in Glenwood Canyon (see paragraph above titled “ Driving in the canyon” ). Also, rest areas are located in areas that are more vulnerable to these events. CDOT will continue to monitor and assess safety in those locations. Rest areas may not reopen in 2020.

Bike path
The Glenwood Canyon bike path is closed to all users, in order to keep travelers on the road while in Glenwood Canyon (see paragraph above titled “Driving in the canyon”). The bike path will remain closed through the end of 2020, also due to damage that needs to be repaired before it can be safely reopened.

CO 82 Independence Pass
A popular alternate route is Colorado Highway 82 over Independence Pass. This is not a recommended detour due to restrictions and traffic impacts in September and October due to rockfall mitigation work . The pass is open to passenger vehicles only (cars, vans, SUVs). No commercial motor vehicles (CMVs), camper trailers, recreational or similar vehicles will be allowed and a 35-foot length restriction continues to be in place (year round).

Independence Pass shows as closed on navigation apps in order to prevent commercial traffic from being routed over the pass. All road conditions and closures are posted in real time at COtrip.org. Motorists should expect slow speeds, lengthy travel times and potential delays of up to two hours. Due to rockfall mitigation work, there will be daytime, weekday lane closures
with alternating traffic between mile points 59 to 62.

There will be a few days of full closures of CO 82 on Independence Pass in late September and early to mid-October, due to rockfall mitigation. Travelers should be aware that Independence Pass on Colorado Highway 82 is subject to closures due to inclement weather and is closed in the winter.

______________________________________________________________________________

Preparando a los viajeros para Glenwood Canyon (Otoño 2020)

I-70 en Glenwood Canyon
Los conductores deben prepararse para velocidades reducidas, no detener su automóvil en el cañón y cierres de seguridad debido al flujo de escombros y otros eventos relacionados con el clima. CDOT pide a los viajeros que se mantengan concentrados en la carretera y eviten manejar con distracciones. Si hay lluvias moderadas, fuertes o extremas en el Glenwood Canyon sobre el área quemada de Grizzly Creek, es probable que haya un flujo de escombros, deslizamientos de lodo o desprendimientos de rocas. Para mantener la seguridad en la carretera interestatal I-70 en Glenwood Canyon, el CDOT tiene planes para proteger a los conductores cuando podría haber un flujo de escombros, deslizamientos de lodo o desprendimientos de rocas.

Cierres por seguridad
Si hay una alerta de avenida torrencial para el área quemada de Grizzly Creek, el CDOT tendrá trabajadores y equipo en espera en preparación para un cierre. Si hay una alerta de avenida torrencial para el área quemada de Grizzly Creek, el CDOT cerrará la Interestatal 70 (I-70) en Glenwood Canyon desde la salida 116 (la ciudad de Glenwood Springs) a la 133 (la ciudad de Dotsero). Todo el tráfico se verá afectado y el CDOT evacuará inmediatamente a los conductores del cañón. Durante el cierre, el CDOT continúa monitoreando la carretera en busca de flujo de escombros,
deslizamientos de lodo y desprendimientos de rocas. Los trabajadores y el equipo estarán listos para limpiar el camino de escombros y evaluar los daños antes de reabrir. El CDOT reabrirá la I-70 en Glenwood Canyon una vez que hayamos confirmado que es seguro para el público viajero.

Nota: Una alerta de avenida torrencial es lo que sucede entre una Vigilancia y una Advertencia. En caso de un alerta de avenida torrencial , el CDOT estará en espera de la misma manera que durante una vigilancia de avenida torrencial.

Cómo planificar
Los conductores que planean viajar por la I-70 en Glenwood Canyon deben monitorear las previsiones meteorológicas. Si se pronostica lluvia, prepárese para un cierre en la I-70 en el cañón. CDOT recomienda elegir una ruta alternativa si el cañón se cierra. Consulte el sitio web COtrip.org para conocer las condiciones más recientes en la carretera y las opciones de desvío.

Los conductores deben tener cuidado con el uso de aplicaciones de navegación GPS para buscar rutas alternativas, ya que no siempre tienen información actualizada. Los viajeros deben evitar usar las carreteras del condado o las carreteras forestales como rutas alternativas. Es posible que las condiciones de la carretera no sean las correctas. El CDOT también recomienda que los conductores traigan un equipo de emergencia, con agua, bocadillos, una linterna y una manta, porque las condiciones
de la montaña pueden cambiar repentinamente en la temporada de otoño.

Manejando en el cañón
Los conductores no pueden detenerse en Glenwood Canyon mientras viajan por la carretera interestatal de I-70. Esto es para proteger a los viajeros de los flujos de escombros, deslizamientos de lodo o desprendimientos de rocas en el cañón. Para despejar el cañón rápidamente durante un cierre, es importante que los viajeros permanezcan en sus vehículos mientras están en el cañón. El CDOT está trabajando en estrecha colaboración con el Condado de Garfield y el Condado de Eagle para evitar misiones de búsqueda y rescate de emergencia durante un flujo de escombros u otros
impactos. Al mantener a los viajeros en sus carros y en movimiento, podemos prevenir mejor las misiones de búsqueda y rescate.

Área de descanso
Las áreas de descanso en el Glenwood Canyon están cerradas para mantener a los conductores en la carretera mientras se encuentran en Glenwood Canyon (consulte el párrafo anterior titulado “Manejando en el cañón”). Además, las áreas de descanso se ubican en áreas más vulnerables a estos eventos. El CDOT continuará monitoreando y evaluando la seguridad en esos lugares. Es posible que las áreas de descanso no vuelvan a abrir en 2020.

Carril para Bicicletas
El carril para bicicletas en Glenwood Canyon está cerrado para todos, con el fin de mantener a los conductores en la carretera mientras se encuentran en Glenwood Canyon (consulte el párrafo anterior titulado “Manejando en el cañón”). Este carril para bicicletas permanecerá cerrado hasta 2020, también debido a daños que deben repararse antes de que pueda reabrirse de manera segura.

Autopista CO 82 sobre Independence Pass
Una ruta alternativa popular es la autopista CO 82 sobre Independence Pass. Este no es un desvío recomendado debido a restricciones y impactos de tráfico en Septiembre y Octubre debido a trabajos de mitigación de desprendimiento de rocas. El pase está disponible solo para vehículos de pasajeros (carros, camionetas, SUV). No se permitirán vehículos comerciales de motor (CMV), caravanas o vehículos recreativos. Existe una restricción de longitud de 35 pies (todo el año). Independence Pass está cerrado en las aplicaciones de navegación GPS para evitar que los vehículos comerciales utilicen el pase. Todas las condiciones y cierres de carreteras se publican en tiempo real en el sitio web COtrip.org.

Los conductores esperan velocidades lentas, tiempos de viaje prolongados y retrasos de hasta dos horas. Debido al trabajo de mitigación de desprendimiento de rocas, habrá cierres de carriles durante el día entre semana con tráfico alterno entre los puntos de milla 59 y 62.

Habrá cierres completos de la autopista CO 82 en Independence Pass a finales de Septiembre y de principios a mediados de Octubre, debido a la mitigación de desprendimientos de rocas . Los conductores deben tener en cuenta que Independence Pass en la autopista CO 82 está sujeto a cierres debido a las inclemencias del tiempo y está cerrado en invierno.

CDOT: Preparing travelers for Glenwood Canyon – fall 2020

Firefighters get first-hand look at hot spots in Grizzly Creek drainage

Yesterday, two firefighters were ferried by helicopter into the Grizzly Creek drainage to get a closer look at four hot spots near the edge of uncontained line discovered during previous surveillance flights and drone operations.
Division North Supervisor Dusty Calfee and Task Force Leader Jake Fischer spent seven hours in the drainage, reaching three of the four most prominent hot spots and getting line around two of the spots.

“What’s causing the heat and smoke is fire coming from down low in the duff,” Calfee said. “It’s leaf litter, needle cast and small branches, and it’s that creeping, smoldering type of fire that doesn’t always get spotted by helicopters.”

Calfee and Fischer hiked through 8-foot high brush, and crossed through shin-deep water multiple times. They noted several other locations during their hike showing low-intensity heat.

“This is not the type of fire activity that poses an immediate threat,” said Calfee. “At the moment, fire activity is minimal. If it were to find jackpots of fuel, activity could increase and become a threat in dry fall conditions. Should that happen, we may need to take action using aerial resources, or other strategies. We will continue to closely monitor the fire in the drainage, and take action when needed.”

The remote location inside the Grizzly Creek drainage is a safety risk for firefighters due to steep slopes, vertical cliff bands, scree fields and stretches of continuous brush. These factors make it very difficult to construct containment line in all the areas showing heat. The terrain makes it extremely difficult to extricate an injured firefighter if necessary.

Most of the other work being done on the fire involves suppression repair. Excavator work continues on the Transfer Trail Road, which will remain closed until work is complete. On the southern edge of the fire, crews have completed repair of all fire line. They are now cleaning up piles of logs and debris, and starting fence repair.

The Grizzly Creek Fire remains at 32,431 acres, and is 91% contained, with 86 people working on the fire.

The BLM and Forest closures that include the area south of Coffee Pot Road are still in place. A map of the closures is available on InciWeb: inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6942/.

The BLM Colorado River Valley Field Office and the White River National Forest remain under Stage 2 fire restrictions, which prohibit all campfires and charcoal, even in developed areas. For more information, go to www.blm.gov or www.fs.usda.gov/whiteriver.

Firefighters get first-hand look at hot spots in Grizzly Creek drainage

Grizzly Creek Fire at 91 percent containment

Start date: 08/10/2020
Location: Glenwood Canyon
Cause: Human
Fire size: 32,464 acres
Containment: 91%
Total personnel: 270

Yesterday’s moisture helped further moderate fire behavior. Fire personnel are mostly away from fire lines until conditions on the ground dry to allow better access. Suppression and suppression repair activities will resume as conditions dry.

Scattered showers may continue today with a better chance of rain tomorrow. A drying trend is anticipated this weekend.
The Grizzly Creek Fire remains 91 percent contained and has not grown in 11 days. Fire resources will continue to be released to travel home or to new fires.

Today, management of the Grizzly Creek Fire transitioned from the Alaska Type 1 team to the Type 3 Upper Colorado River Fire Incident Management Team, under the command of Eric White.

A Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Team is assessing the fire for imminent post-wildfire threats to human life and safety, property, and critical natural or cultural resources on National Forest System lands. The team is composed of resource specialists such as hydrologists, geologists, botanists, soils scientists, archaeologists, wildlife biologists, and engineers.

Unless circumstances change, the daily update schedule will be reduced, going forward, to once every two to three days. We will continue to provide updated information on the Grizzly Fire Facebook page, and on our inciWeb site (links below).

Fire closure areas include Coffee Pot and Transfer Trail roads. Both closure orders and associated maps can be found here.
Go to cotrip.org for information on highway closures.

A temporary flight restriction (TFR) remains in place over the fire. Go to https://tfr.faa.gov/ for details.

Fire information: (970) 930-1850
Email: 2020.grizzlycreek@firenet.gov
InciWeb: inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6942/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GrizzlyCreekFireCO
Twitter: @fire_grizzly

Grizzly Creek Fire at 91 percent containment

Forest Service and BLM modify Grizzly Creek Fire closure area

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. – The White River National Forest and Bureau of Land Management are modifying the closure area for the Grizzly Creek Fire beginning Friday, Sept 4.

The closure area is being reduced to better align with current fire suppression and suppression repair activities.

“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 reduced the closure area where it is safe to do so.”
“We still have more than 600 personnel working this 32,000-acre fire, which is not fully contained,” said White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams. “Many areas near the Grizzly Creek Fire remain closed for firefighter and public safety.”

The Coffee Pot Road and Transfer Trail Road remain closed. The western boundary of the closure includes Forest Service Roads 602 and 637.
The Boy Scout/Lookout Mountain, Grizzly Creek, Hanging Lake, Mitchell Creek, and No Name trails are closed. The recreation areas and boat ramps on the Colorado River from Dotsero through Glenwood Canyon to No Name are closed. Above Dotsero, Cottonwood Landing is open to put in and take out. Lyons Campground is open to take out only.

The Sweetwater Road is open and offers an alternate access point into the eastern Flat Tops Wilderness. Clinetop Mesa Road is open. The Heart Lake and Deep Lake area is open and accessible from the west. The BLM trails at Onion Ridge and Keyser Creek are open.

The BLM and White River National Forest will continue to review area closures and will modify further if circumstances allow.

Maps of the closure 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 modify Grizzly Creek Fire closure area

CDOT: Plan for likely closures in Glenwood Canyon, heavy weekend traffic on I-70

I-70 MOUNTAIN CORRIDOR – Motorists should plan for heavy traffic on Interstate 70 this weekend and will encounter closures in Glenwood Canyon due to continuing repairs and weather impacts. Denver metro motorists heading into the mountains should expect variable conditions as well. A hazardous weather outlook has been issued for the central mountains, including I-70 and much of the Western Slope. The forecast includes rain and the potential for heavy rain on Saturday and Sunday, which could cause mudslides, debris flow or rockfall onto I-70 in Glenwood Canyon. Burn areas from the Grizzly Creek Fire have increased vulnerability for mudslides and rockfall. It is possible that any of those impacts could require a safety closure in the canyon. Ongoing repair work to power poles, by Xcel, will also likely require closures on Saturday in Glenwood Canyon.

I-70 reopened on Monday after an extended closure due to the Grizzly Creek Fire. In addition to likely closures, motorists in Glenwood Canyon should be prepared for reduced speeds and no stopping in the canyon. Rest areas and the bike path continue to be closed for public safety.

Highway closures can last for as little as a few minutes or for as long as several hours. When drivers set out on a trip, especially through high country roads or the I-70 mountain corridor, it would be wise to have the car supplied with an emergency kit. The kit should contain at the very minimum: water, snacks, flashlight, and a blanket. Remember to also carry water for your pets if you’re traveling with animals. You may even consider packing some items to keep you or children occupied while waiting in the car. Activity books, colored pencils or a deck of cards can help pass the time.   

I-70 ALTERNATIVE ROUTES

CDOT recommends that travelers plan for alternative routes to I-70 when there is heavy rain in the forecast, in order to be prepared for a closure. Expect delays when using detour routes and possible construction impacts on US and state highways. Recommended alternative routes will help travelers arrive at their final destination (see below). CDOT urges motorists to avoid relying on navigation apps that may take motorists on forest roads and over mountain passes. 

  • Through traffic: CDOT recommends a southern detour route, due to construction on commonly used northern alternate routes. Drivers should anticipate additional traffic on these routes. CDOT has paused some construction projects in order to accommodate detour traffic. CDOT discourages travelers from using highways north of I-70 as a through route, due to construction zones (even if projects are paused during the closure).
  • WESTBOUND I-70: Denver metro area motorists can travel on US 285 to US 50, and continue west to Grand Junction. Travelers on I-70 can use CO 9 to US 285 south to US 50, or use CO 91 southwest to US 24 to US 50.
  •  EASTBOUND I-70 : Motorists traveling from Grand Junction can use US 50 east to US 285 and continue to Denver. Eastbound travelers on US 50/285 may also use US 24, CO 91or CO 9 for destinations at or near Vail, Copper Mountain or Silverthorne. 
  • Independence Pass: CO 82 between Aspen and US 24 is open with limited access and alternating traffic, controlled by flagging personnel. Motorists are advised that only passenger vehicles, such as cars, SUVs and vans are allowed. No commercial motor vehicles (CMVs), camper trailers, recreational or similar vehicles are allowed. A 35-foot length restriction is in place. Motorists should expect slow speeds, lengthy travel times and potential delays of up to two hours if traveling over Independence Pass. Campers and recreational vehicles are strongly advised to seek alternate southern routes. 
  • CDOT asks that motorists not use Cottonwood Pass, Hagerman Pass, or other county or forest service roads in Eagle and Garfield counties as a detour. These roads are not built for heavy traffic or commercial oversize vehicles. 
CDOT: Plan for likely closures in Glenwood Canyon, heavy weekend traffic on I-70

AIMT: Grizzly Creek Fire 68 percent contained

Grizzly Creek Fire
Fire Size: 32,408 acres
Containment: 68%
Start date: 08/10/2020                                 
Location: Glenwood Canyon
Cause: Under investigation                           
Total Personnel:663

8.28.20, 8:54 a.m. – Helicopters used water drops to support firefighters working on uncontained portions of the perimeter on Thursday. Firefighters are focusing their efforts on the No Name and Grizzly Creek drainages on the northwest edge of the fire, as well as the southern perimeter near Green Lake, which remain the two biggest challenges for fire managers.

Containment increased to 68% as crews patrolled and improved control line around the perimeter. Firefighters worked lines with hand tools, dozers and excavators.

Fire behavior continues to moderate with cooler temperatures and lower relative humidity, which are expected to continue into this weekend. Possible precipitation this weekend could aid in meeting suppression objectives but brings with it increased risk of flooding and debris flow, a major concern for fire managers.

As containment increases, attention turns to repairing impacts on the landscape and communities caused by the fire. Suppression repair has begun on Coffee Pot Road, north of Interstate 70, to minimize the impact of firefighting activities. This includes rehabilitation of dozer and handlines, as well as restoring access to areas that have been closed due to the fire.

“We’re focusing on the economic and social impacts the fire has had and trying to help this community get back to normal life,” said Incident Commander Norm McDonald.

Interstate 70 remains open to two-way traffic. Motorists should expect periodic delays for power line and utility repair and firefighting operations.

Road closures remain in effect for Coffee Pot Road, Transfer Trail Road and areas of the Flattops accessed by those roads, as do many surrounding White River National Forest and BLM roads. Go to www.cotrip.org.

A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in place over the fire to provide a safe operating environment for firefighting aircraft. Go to https://tfr.faa.gov.

Fire Information/Media Line: (970) 930-1850 Email: 2020.grizzlycreek@firenet.gov 
InciWeb: inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6942
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GrizzlyCreekFireCO ? 
Twitter: @fire_grizzly

AIMT: Grizzly Creek Fire 68 percent contained

AIMT: Grizzly Creek Fire at 32,304 acres, community meeting tonight

Grizzly Creek Fire statistics:
Fire size: 32,304 acres
Start date: 08/10/2020
Location: Glenwood Canyon
Cause: Under investigation
Containment: 61%
Total personnel: 724

Special note: There is a Facebook Live community meeting tonight, Aug. 27, beginning at 6 p.m. Tune in to https://www.facebook.com/GrizzlyCreekFireCO for updates and a live Q&A with the Alaska Incident Management Team, local officials and cooperating agencies.

Current situation: It was a tense day at the command center Tuesday after the National Weather Service in Grand Junction issued an afternoon flash flood watch for heavy rains over the burn area. Though the west end of the fire did receive some light precipitation, the heavy rains never developed. However, the situation highlighted concerns about the potential for flooding and debris flow in the Glenwood Canyon due to the fire.

Meanwhile, fire managers on the Alaska Incident Management Team continued to gather awareness and explore opportunities for ways to increase containment on the fire from the present estimated 61%. The team also began developing a repair plan for sections of the fire where suppression actions impacted the landscape.

Helicopters used water drops to cool hot spots in the No Name and Grizzly Creek drainages on the northwest edge of the fire so that firefighters could access and reconnaissance the area for opportunities to take direct action on what has been one of the fire’s remaining problem areas. Crews also worked on securing uncontained line to the east of that area taking direct action where conditions allowed.

Fire behavior was tame over most of the fire area but there are still visible smokes popping up in the interior when the fire finds receptive fuels in the form of unburned islands, specifically in the Cinnamon Creek and Devil’s Hole Creek drainages north of Green Lake. Fire managers scouted that area to determine where they might be able to put boots on the ground to secure uncontained lines.

Elsewhere, firefighters mopped up after a successful, multi-day firing operation on Spruce Ridge above Bair Ranch and continued to monitor, patrol and mop up other areas to increase the width of containment lines.

Interstate 70 remains open to two-way traffic but motorists should expect periodic delays due to possible firefighting activity or other work related to powerline and road repairs or flash floods.

Road closures: Coffee Pot Road, Transfer Trail Road and areas of the Flattops accessed by those roads are closed, as are many surrounding White River National Forest and BLM roads. Go to www.cotrip.org.

Flight restrictions: A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in place over the fire to provide a safe operating environment for firefighting aircraft. Go to https://tfr.faa.gov/.

Fire Information/Media Line: (970) 930-1850
Email: 2020.grizzlycreek@firenet.gov
Incident: inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6942/ 

AIMT: Grizzly Creek Fire at 32,304 acres, community meeting tonight