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 update

Coffee Pot Road to re-open Saturday; Crews continue suppression repair

EAGLE, Colo. – The Bureau of Land Management and the White River National Forest will re-open the Coffee Pot Road beginning Saturday, Sept. 12 and are asking the public to recreate in the area responsibly.

“We understand the high public interest in accessing the Coffee Pot Road. We still have crews working in the area, so we are asking people to drive carefully, and if they are hunting, to be aware of their surroundings,” said
White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams.

“Be mindful in doing your part to minimize road damage as you drive onto open side roads north of Coffee Pot Road,” said BLM Colorado River Valley Field Manager Larry Sandoval. “If your vehicle begins to cause ruts, please consider other access options, and know that repaired fire suppression lines are not open to motorized travel.”

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 boat launch at Dotsero Landing will also open Saturday 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 Transfer Trail Road closure will continue because of the high amount of heavy equipment still working in the area.

The Grizzly Creek Fire remains 32,431 acres (a small reduction this week due to mapping) and 91 percent contained. About 100 personnel remain on the fire, monitoring the open containment lines and continuing suppression repair as roads dry to allow better access.

Rain and snow have helped reduce fire activity. Firefighters are awaiting an infrared flight that will show where any heat may remain after this week’s precipitation.

Meanwhile, the Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Team is continuing its assessment of the fire. 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.

Closure order-|

Closure order map-|

Forest Order-|

Grizzly Creek fire update

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

UCR: Crews keep Coulter Fire in check north of Rifle Gap Reservoir

RIFLE, Colo. – Crews from the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire and Aviation Management Unit (UCR) have brought the 28-acre Coulter Fire to 30 percent containment this evening. 

The fire is burning about nine miles north of Rifle Gap Reservoir on White River National Forest land. Sixty firefighters, two engines and two helicopters today kept the fire from expanding. The change in acreage this evening is the result of a better estimate after mapping the fire from the air.

Firefighters have completed a saw line and hose lay around the fire. The area received a small amount of rain this afternoon. Firefighters do not expect the fire to grow further and will continue to strengthen containment lines over the next several days.

Crews responded to the lightning-ignited fire about 4 p.m. yesterday, following a thunderstorm that moved through the area.

The White River National Forest remains under Stage 2 fire restrictions, which prohibit all campfires and charcoal, even in developed areas. For more information, go to www.fs.usda.gov/whiteriver.   

This will be the last update on this fire unless the situation changes.

UCR: Crews keep Coulter Fire in check north of Rifle Gap Reservoir

Crews working 22-acre Coulter Fire north of Rifle Gap Reservoir

RIFLE, Colo. – Crews from the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire and Aviation Management Unit are working the 22-acre Coulter Fire today about nine miles north of Rifle Gap Reservoir on the White River National Forest.

Crews responded to the lightning-ignited fire about 4 p.m. yesterday, following a thunderstorm that moved through the area. They were able to stop the fire from actively spreading and will continue to work the fire today with two helicopters, two engines and about 60 firefighters.

There are currently no immediate threats to structures or evacuations in place.

More thunderstorms and lightning are anticipated in western Colorado this afternoon.

The White River National Forest remains under Stage 2 fire restrictions, which prohibit all campfires and charcoal, even in developed areas. For more information, go to www.fs.usda.gov/whiteriver.

Crews working 22-acre Coulter Fire north of Rifle Gap Reservoir

Evacuation of Lookout Mountain above Glenwood Springs, as well as No Name

The #GrizzlyCreekFire Incident Command has directed an evacuation notice for the residents of Lookout Mountain The GWS Community Center is the relocation point at this time. As fire is moving up hill to the south.

Official fire information:
InciWeb
Grizzly Creek Fire facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/GrizzlyCreekFireCO
Phone: #970-930-1850
grizzlycreekfire@gmail.com
To sign up for emergency alerts in Garfield County, please visit garco911.com
Garfield County Emergency Management: Register at garfieldcounty.net.

Evacuation of Lookout Mountain above Glenwood Springs, as well as No Name

Grizzly Creek Fire: residents in No Name in evacuation orders

Fire is in Glenwood Canyon east of Glenwood Springs

UPDATE 8.12.20 – 7:19 a.m. – Garfield County Sheriff’s Office: The Sheriff’s Office has evacuated, No Name, High Aspen Ranch (CR 115), Coulter Creek, CR 120 and Cottonwood pass as of last night, at the direction of the Grizzly Creek Fire Incident Command.

UPDATE 8.11.2020 7:01 p.m. –  The Grizzly Creek Fire is at 3,200 acres. There are 211 personnel on the fire and the Rocky Mountain Type 2 Incident Management Blue Team will assume command of the fire on Wednesday at 6 a.m. Cottonwood Pass Road in Eagle and Garfield counties is closed. Interstate 70 remains closed between Glenwood Springs and Gypsum. There is no estimated time for reopening. Visit www.cotrip.org for road closure information. Coffee Pot Road, Transfer Trail and Clinetop Mesa roads are closed, as is much of the BLM and Forest Service lands in those areas. Maps of the closures are available on inciweb.

UPDATE 8.11.20, 7:16 p.m. – Eagle County Sheriff’s Office: Evacuation of Coulter Creek has been ordered from the Cottonwood Pass area. Cottonwood Pass is CLOSED.

UPDATE 8.11.20, 6:15 p.m. – Garfield County Sheriff’s Office: Evacuations have been ordered for the residents of No Name and Lookout Mountain, East of Glenwood Springs. There is a pre-evacuation notice for Bair Ranch. At this time, no other evacuation notices or pre-evacuation notices have been ordered with regards to the Grizzly Creek Fire in Glenwood Canyon.

Evacuaciones y cierres:
• Cottonwood Pass Road en los condados de Eagle y Garfield está cerrado.
• La interestatal 70 permanece cerrada entre Glenwood Springs y Gypsum. No hay tiempo estimado para reabrir. Visite www.cotrip.org para obtener información sobre el cierre de carreteras.
• Las carreteras Coffee Pot Road, Transfer Trail y Clinetop Mesa están cerradas, al igual que gran parte de las tierras de BLM y Forest Service en esas áreas. Los mapas de los cierres están disponibles en inciweb.

La comunidad de las áreas No Name, Lookout Mountain y Coulter Creek al este de Glenwood Springs fueron evacuadas hoy. Los residentes evacuados pueden ir al Centro Comunitario de Glenwood Springs.

Restricciones de incendio:
Todas las jurisdicciones en el área están bajo restricciones de incendio de la Etapa 1 y pasarán a la Etapa 2 el jueves.

Estadísticas de incendios de Grizzly Creek:
Tamaño: 3,200 acres
Contención: 0%
Personal total: 211

UPDATE 8.11.20, 5:31 p.m. – the Bureau of Land Management has issued a Notice of Public Closure for lands in the vicinity of the Grizzly Creek Fire.

UPDATE 8.11.20, 4:04 p.m. – Hot weather and winds in Glenwood Canyon are challenging firefighters’ efforts. The Grizzly Creek Fire has crossed the river upstream of the Grizzly Creek exit and established itself on the south side of the Colorado River and I-70.

Please watch the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page for the latest evacuation notices.

UPDATE: 8.11.20 at 2:50 p.m. – RV sites are available free of charge at the Garfield County Fairgrounds in Rifle for anyone displaced by fires. The sites have 30/50 amp electric and water is available, though there are no sewer hookups.

UPDATE: 8.11.20 at 2:18 pm – The #GrizzlyCreekFire Incident Command has directed an evacuation notice for the residents of Lookout Mountain The GWS Community Center is the relocation point at this time. As Fire is moving up hill to the south.

UPDATE 8.1.20 at 1:45 pm – Latest acreage: 1,832 acres.

UPDATE: The Grizzly Creek Fire Incident Command has directed an evacuation notice for the residents of No Name. The Glenwood Springs Community Center is the relocation point at this time.

8.11.2020 Red flag warning

UPDATE 8.11.2020 – 11:00 am: I-70 Glenwood Canyon remains closed due to wildfire

GARFIELD & EAGLE COUNTIES:  I-70 in Glenwood Canyon continues to be closed between Mile Point 116 (Glenwood Springs) and MP 140 (Gypsum). The closure is for both directions of traffic with no estimated time of reopening. The safety closure will allow CDOT to assess two bridges located near where the Grizzly Creek Fire started, as well as increased rockfall hazard in Glenwood Canyon. Both assessments are taking place today. Rockfall has been reported and is likely due to burned vegetation no longer holding rocks in place. 

CDOT has paused some construction projects to allow for detour traffic. CDOT asks that motorists not use Cottonwood Pass (Eagle & Garfield counties) or Independence Pass as detour routes, as these roads are not built for heavy traffic or commercial oversize vehicles. Vehicles over 35 feet in length may not use Independence Pass at any time. This includes a vehicle and trailer that, together, exceed 35 feet.

DETOUR ROUTES
Drivers should anticipate additional traffic on these routes. CDOT has paused some construction projects in order to accommodate detour traffic. However, travelers should be aware of possible construction impacts on US and state highways. CDOT recommends that through traffic on I-70 use a southern detour route, due to construction on commonly used northern alternate routes.

– WESTBOUND: 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: Motorists traveling from Grand Junction can use US 50 east to US 285 and continue to Denver. Motorists headed to areas west of Denver can also use the westbound detour in reverse.

For residents and businesses north of I-70, the following alternate routes are best:

– WESTBOUND: Motorists can connect to US 40 via CO 9 or CO 131. To continue to Grand Junction, take CO 139 south to I-70. CDOT advises commercial traffic to use CO 9 instead of CO 131, for safety purposes. Please note that while CO 13 is open at this time, it is not a recommended detour due to construction. Oversize commercial vehicles are not allowed on CO 13 due to construction

-EASTBOUND: Near Fruita, motorists can travel north on CO 139 to US 40, then south on CO 131 or CO 9, returning to I-70. As stated above, CO 13 is not recommended due to construction.

FIRE INFORMATION
Agencies are responding to the Grizzly Creek Fire in Glenwood Canyon. Updates and information can be found at: 

https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6942/https://www.facebook.com/GrizzlyCreekFireCO

970-930-1850
grizzlycreekfire@gmail.com

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8.11.20 at 6 a.m. – Grizzly Creek Fire: residents in No Name in pre-evacuation orders

Tuesday morning residents of the No Name area are under pre-evacuation orders. This means they are advised to pack necessary items and be ready to leave on a moment’s notice.

Cottonwood Pass is closed for a rolled over tractor trailer with unknown time of reopening. Eagle County is providing flaggers on both sides.

More information will come in after morning fire briefings. I-70 remains closed in both directions between Glenwood Springs and Gypsum. We do not have an estimated time for reopening, and you can find the latest at www.cotrip.org. The fire was active last night.

Monday about 60 firefighters and numerous aircraft responded to the 1,300-acre Grizzly Creek Fire in Glenwood Canyon near the Grizzly Creek rest area, about five miles east of Glenwood Springs. 

The cause of the fire is under investigation. There are no immediate threats to structures and no evacuations are in place. 

Most of the firefighting effort Monday afternoon took place from the air because the rugged terrain and extreme fire behavior. This afternoon the air attack included two VLATs (very large air tankers), five LATs (large air tankers), five helicopters, and two SEATs (single engine air tankers).

Interstate 70 is closed in both directions from Exit 116 (Glenwood Springs) to Exit 140 (Gypsum); alternate routes are advised. The highway will be reopened when it is safe to do so. For Colorado Department of Transportation updates please visit: www.COTRIP.org  

The Forest Service is closing Coffee Pot Road outside of Dotsero and associated areas of the Flattops, as well as Hanging Lake. A map and more information about the closure will be posted tomorrow. 

The fire was first reported 1:29 p.m. today. Upon arrival the firefighters encountered large active flames in the I-70 median before the fire took a run up the north-facing slope.  Supporting agencies include the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit, Glenwood Springs Fire Department, Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, Gypsum Fire Protection District, Roaring Fork Fire Rescue, Carbondale Fire and Rural Fire Protection District, Colorado River Fire Rescue, and the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control. Firefighters are coordinating closely with the Colorado Department of Transportation. 

Firefighters reported extreme fire behavior. Conditions throughout western Colorado remain very dry, and fire danger is high. 

Fire updates can be found on the Grizzly Creek Fire Facebook page @GrizzlyCreekFireCO or https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6942/

Grizzly Creek Fire: residents in No Name in evacuation orders

Crews battle wildfire along Interstate 70 west of Glenwood Springs

8.7.20 at 4 p.m.: CDOT reports I-70 west of Glenwood Springs now has all lanes open in the 111 Fire area.

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UPDATE: 8.7.20 at 9 a.m. – Crews made significant progress on the 111 Fire yesterday, which is now 85 percent contained at nine acres. The BLM Type 3 team has transferred the fire to a Type 4 team as final mop up operations continue, to help address remaining hot spots.

CDOT has a westbound closure on I-70 in effect again to assist with firefighting efforts on the 111 Fire. The closure is in the same location: Mile Point 111 – 113 in South Canyon, west of Glenwood Springs. CDOT indicates to plan for delays again this afternoon and evening; however lanes will reopen as soon as possible

Glenwood Springs, Colo. — On Aug. 5, the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire and Aviation Management Unit (UCR) along with Glenwood Springs Fire Department and other local agencies responded to a vegetation fire on the north side of Interstate 70 near mile marker 111.

Multiple agencies had a quick response and aided in the initial attack. Air support from the Pine Gulch Fire in western Garfield County was able to assist with water drops. Pre-evacuations were ordered for Ami’s Acres Campground during initial attack and will remain in place through this afternoon due to the red flag warning. There are currently no structures threatened.

Due to more accurate mapping, the fire is nine acres in size and crews have been able to stop the forward progression. The fire is determined to be human caused and is under investigation.

Colorado Department of Transportation with have the right-hand westbound lane temporarily closed during firefighting efforts. Travelers should expect slight delays and drive with caution.

“We saw great coordination between local, state and federal agencies which made for quick and efficient initial attack,” said UCR Incident Commander Ryan Hughes “That coordination and shared resources allowed us to be able to stop this fire from potentially becoming a large incident.”

Sixty-five personnel, one Type 3 helicopter, three hand crews, and several engines are securing the perimeter and extinguishing hotspots within the fire. Smoke may be seen, but is not expected to impact communities given the decrease in fire behavior and suppression efforts. With the current red flag warning and the hot and dry conditions, fire personnel are taking all precautions to gain full containment by end of today.

Fire updates are available at garfiedcounty.net emergency management feed. Visit garco911.com to register for emergency alerts, including evacuations and all hazard notifications.

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The Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire and Aviation Management Unit (UCR) includes Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service firefighting resources that cover 5.8 million acres along the Interstate 70, Colorado River and Roaring Fork River corridors from the Continental Divide to the Utah state line. The UCR includes the White River National Forest and the BLM’s Colorado River Valley and Grand Junction field offices. The UCR cooperates with other federal and state agencies, local communities, and fire departments on a wide range of activities including fuels treatments, fire prevention, and suppression.

Crews battle wildfire along Interstate 70 west of Glenwood Springs