The Vallecito Fire was reported on October 16 and is located west of Vallecito Reservoir and County Road 501 on the San Juan National Forest. The Reservoir is about 20 miles north of Bayfield, CO. The fire is believed to have been started by lightning and is still burning dead and down trees and occasional standing snags. The fire is burning within the perimeter of the 2002 Missionary Ridge fire. The terrain is steep and danger to Fire Fighters from falling trees has prompted Fire Officials not to attempt direct fire suppression tactics. Aircraft are still essential in helping to control the spread of this fire.
On the north side, dozers lines are in place from County Road (CR) 501 up to Freeman Park and from CR 501 behind Sawmill Point into lower Jack Creek drainage. Hotshot crews felled snags along this line to make it defensible. It was developed to help protect the homes on Hummingbird Lane and Ho Hum Drive, should the fire make a move northward. The fire is 25% contained.
The Tushar Mountain Wildland Fire Module (a 7 person crew) and a Type 3 Incident Commander transitioned into this incident. Delaying and confinement tactics will be used to minimize spread until a significant wet weather event occurs. Persistent dry weather is forecasted for the next couple of weeks.
Fire activity increased Thursday afternoon producing a 100 acre run up to the head of Jack Creek drainage crossing the Endlich Trail and is approaching the Weminuche Wilderness producing a vertical smoke column visible from the entire Pine River Valley. Minimal spotting was observed up to 200 feet.
There are no Values at risk to the North and West. The fire is still backing into other areas of Jack Creek with Private Land and homes within a mile. Holding plan utilizing a logging road is in place to minimize southern and eastern movement.
Endlich Trail #534 is closed at this time.
|Date of Origin||Friday October 12th, 2012 approx. 01:30 PM|
|Location||1 mile west of Vallecito|
|Incident Commander||John Markalunas|
Heavy dead and down, dormant Gambel oak, and standing dead Ponderosa with fresh leaf litter and grass.
Moderate movement to the west and north with winds in heavy down ground fuels.
A dozer line has been extended accross weastward accross Red Creek and northward towards Decker Spring. A handfull of Firefighters followed the dozer with fire to reinforce the line.
Air Attack. one medium helicopter and 7 personal on the ground are still supporting confinement and monitoring operations on this fire.
The Endlich Trail #534 is closed.