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-|

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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

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

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