East Fork Fire Fact Sheet
Incident: East Fork Wildfire
East Fork Fire
Ouray Ranger District
June 29, 2013 8:00 a.m.
Information Officers: Ted Pettis, Rick Barton, Lora Schmillen, Megan Mast
Information Center 970-240-2049
Information Center Hours 7am-9pm
Incident: This wildland fire started on 6/15/2013; cause was lightning.
Location: 30 miles southeast of Montrose, CO.
Jurisdiction: Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, & Gunnison National Forests
Cooperating Agencies: BLM, Gunnison County
Incident Commander: Rick Kusicko, Northern Rockies Type II Incident Management Team (IMT). The Incident Command Post (ICP) is located at the Columbine Middle School in Montrose.
Current Size: 447 acres Containment: 5%
Management Strategy: Full suppression
Structures Threatened: 20 residences, 15 commercial properties, and 5 outbuildings
Structures Lost: none
Status: The fire has been light to moderately active; burning in spruce/fir fuels with creeping and single tree torching. Steep, rocky, inaccessible terrain (primarily below the Rim) with heavy dead/ down fuels that are extremely dry has made suppression efforts very difficult. The high elevation also affects crew and equipment efficiencies.
The Little Cimarron Creek Road and Road 864 are being heavily used by the fire crews for access to the fire. Some crews are staying in a ‘spike camp’ setup on the High Mesa. Road maintenance will be ongoing with road blading and dust abatement with water as needed. Structure protection measures have been completed for current status.
Yesterday’s Activities: Crews continued line construction up on the High Mesa and on the gentler slopes on the Little Cimarron side. Dozer line and fuel breaks were extended along the Rim to help containment efforts on the west flank above the inaccessible fire area. The inaccessible areas are monitored visually by air and supported by helicopter water drops.
Current Resources: Five 20-person crews, nine engines, two dozers, three water tenders, and three helicopters. Total personnel: 264.
Today’s Activities: A ‘Red Flag’ warning has been issued by the National Weather Service for dry thunderstorm activity in our area. Super cell development is possible. Temperatures are predicted to be 90+ with RH’s ranging 10 to 15%.
Crews will be taking direct suppression actions (High Mesa) where conditions allow safe completion. Scouting on the west side of fire for other safe opportunities to establish effective fireline is ongoing. Some engine crews are being re-assigned to start mop-up operations on contained portions of fire perimeter on the High Mesa.
Restrictions/Closures: The recent ‘Closure Order’ by the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests has been revised starting June 29, 2013. The revision opens the Big Cimarron Road #858 to the Silver Jack reservoir to the junction of Big Cimarron Road #863 and service road #858, the West Fork Road #860 south of Owl Creek Pass; and Road #868 from the Alpine Guard Station to the Big Blue trailhead #232.
All the other prohibited use of National Forest System lands (Restricted Area), roads and trails that access the East Fork Fire area are still in effect.
A road “Closure Order” for the BLM’s adjacent spur roads has been issued. Please contact: Gunnison Field Office for more information at 970-642-4940.
On June 24, 2013, the Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forest implemented Stage 1 fire restrictions due to high fire danger and ongoing fire activity. The prohibitions relate to campfires and smoking on National Forest System lands in the area.
In addition, a temporary flight restriction (TFR) is in effect surrounding the East Fork Fire area.
For more on the closures and restrictions please go to the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forest website (www.fs.usda.gov/gmug).
The Colorado Trail and the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail are closed from Stoney Pass to San Luis Peak due to fire activity on the Papoose Fire located in Mineral County.
For further Fire Information, visit: www.inciweb.org; Select “East Fork Fire”.
Or call the Forest fire hotline 970-874-6602.