White River National Forest to lift fire restrictions over most of forest

Dillon Ranger District remains in Stage 2 restrictions in coordination with Summit County

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. – Beginning Friday, most ranger districts on the White River National Forest will lift fire restrictions.

The Aspen-Sopris, Blanco, Eagle-Holy Cross, and Rifle ranger districts are lifting restrictions Friday as fire danger has decreased with the recent snow.

The Dillon Ranger District is coordinating with Summit County and will remain in Stage 2 fire restrictions, which prohibit all fires and charcoal on Forest lands, including wood stoves used in wall tents. Propane and other petroleum-fueled stoves and camping equipment are allowed.

“While fire danger has moderated with this snow, conditions vary by location. There is still fire danger, and people need to be careful with fire,” said Deputy Forest Supervisor Lisa Stoeffler. “Warm, dry weather is returning, which will gradually increase fire danger.”

For more information about the White River National Forest, call 970 945-2521 or visit www.fs.usda.gov/whiteriver.

White River National Forest to lift fire restrictions over most of forest

WRNF: Forest officials stress caution as fire danger remains high

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. – Forest officials with the White River National Forest are urging the public to remain vigilant and follow fire restrictions and common-sense campfire use where allowed.

In spite of cool evening temperatures and shorter days, fire danger remains high across the White River National Forest with unseasonably dry and windy conditions. All ranger districts remain in Stage 1 fire restrictions.

“We are still seeing large fires with extreme fire behavior in many parts of Colorado,” said White River National Forest Deputy Supervisor Lisa Stoeffler. “The same potential exists in the White River National Forest, and resources are stretched thin across the region. This isn’t your typical October in Colorado. We absolutely need people to be smart when it comes to fire.”

Fire personnel continue to report illegal and abandoned campfires, and despite colder overnight temperatures, these fires have high potential to spread during warm daytime conditions.  

“We’re responding to frequent human-caused wildfires – about one a day,” said Lathan Johnson, Upper Colorado River Fire Management Officer.  “We need for the public to abide by the current fire restrictions.”

Under Stage 1 fire restrictions, campfires and charcoal are only allowed in developed Forest Service campgrounds in the metal fire rings and grates provided. Where fires are allowed campers should drown their campfires with water and stir until coals are cool to the touch before leaving camp.

Propane and other petroleum-fueled stoves and camping equipment are allowed throughout the forest under Stage 1, as are sheep-herder and other wood-burning stoves often used in hunting tents provided they are fully enclosed metal stoves with a chimney at least five feet in length and have a spark arrestor with a screen opening of ¼ inch or less.

For more information about the current Stage 1 fire restrictions on the White River National Forest, call 970-945-2521 or visit www.fs.usda.gov/whiteriver.

WRNF: Forest officials stress caution as fire danger remains high

Smoke continues on Grizzly Creek Fire

Firefighters are monitoring smoke that continues to be visible from the Grizzly Creek Fire on warm afternoons and will take action if needed.

Currently, smoke is showing in the Grizzly Creek drainage on the north side of the fire and the Devil’s Hole drainage south of I-70 are not posing threats to the fire line, and the fire has not grown. It remains 32,431 acres and 91 percent contained.

Eight firefighters from the White River Fire Module are on the ground monitoring the fire. A type 3 helicopter with five crew members is assigned and available in Rifle when needed.

“We’ll continue to see smoke like this until we get some moisture,” said Incident Commander Dan Nielsen. “Please respect the area closure of the fire perimeter and remember the White River National Forest and BLM in this area are in Stage 1 fire restrictions.”

Maps of the current area closure as well as the fire perimeter are available on InciWeb: inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6942/. Check www.blm.gov or www.fs.usda.gov/whiteriver for the latest fire restriction information.

Smoke continues on Grizzly Creek Fire

White River National Forest moves to Stage 1 fire restrictions on all districts

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. – All ranger districts in the White River National Forest will be in Stage 1 fire restrictions beginning tomorrow, Oct. 2.

The Blanco and Dillon ranger districts are reducing restrictions from Stage 2 to Stage 1, and the other districts in the Forest are remaining in Stage 1.

Under Stage 1 fire restrictions, campfires and charcoal are only allowed in developed Forest Service campgrounds in the metal fire rings and grates provided.

Propane and other petroleum-fueled stoves and camping equipment are allowed throughout the Forest under Stage 1, as are sheep-herder and other wood-burning stoves often used in hunting tents provided they are fully enclosed metal stoves with a chimney at least five feet in length and have a spark arrestor with a screen opening of ¼ inch or less.

The detailed order describing the specifics of Stage 1 restrictions is available at www.fs.usda.gov/whiteriver.

“We expect warm, dry conditions to continue well into October,” said White River National Forest Deputy Supervisor Lisa Stoeffler. “If you are in an area where fires are allowed, make sure your fire is completely out before you leave it unattended.”

For more information about the White River National Forest, call 970 945-2521 or visit www.fs.usda.gov/whiteriver.

White River National Forest moves to Stage 1 fire restrictions on all districts

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

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

White River National Forest to reduce fire restrictions in some areas

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. – The White River National Forest will reduce fire restrictions to Stage 1 in the Aspen-Sopris, Eagle-Holy Cross, and Rifle ranger districts beginning Friday.

The Blanco and Dillon ranger districts will remain in Stage 2 fire restrictions at this time.

Detailed orders describing the specifics of the two types of restrictions are available at www.fs.usda.gov/whiteriver.  

The primary difference between the two stages for campers and recreationists on the forest is that under Stage 1, campfires and charcoal are only allowed in the designated metal grates in developed Forest Service campgrounds and picnic areas. Campfires or charcoal are not allowed anywhere on the ranger districts under Stage 2 restrictions. Propane stoves and other petroleum-fueled camping equipment are allowed under both stages. 

Officials consider several criteria when determining the need for fire restrictions, including current and anticipated fire danger, resource availability, and consistency with neighboring jurisdictions. Local, county, state and federal officials in the area evaluate and coordinate fire restrictions weekly during fire season.

“Although we have received some moisture, there is still a fire danger in western Colorado,” said White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams. “We try to coordinate fire restrictions as closely as possible with counties and other neighboring agencies.”

For more information about the White River National Forest, call 970 945-2521 or visit www.fs.usda.gov/whiteriver.

White River National Forest to reduce fire restrictions in some areas

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