East Fork Fire Fact Sheet 7/2/13
Incident: East Fork Wildfire
East Fork Fire
Ouray Ranger District
July 2, 2013 8:00 a.m.
Information Officers: Ted Pettis, 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, Montrose 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: 40%
Management Strategy: Full suppression
Structures Threatened: 20 residences, 15 commercial properties, and 5 outbuildings
Structures Lost: none
Status: Fire activity has been light lately; 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 864 and High Mesa Road 864A 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. Gunnison County Road maintenance will be working on road blading, dust abatement, and mag-chloride application in the morning. Expect extended delays between 8am-11am. Call Gunnison County for more information. Structure protection has been completed and engines are continuing to monitor structures, hose lays and sprinkler systems.
Yesterday’s Activities: Crews have completed fireline construction on all fire areas on the High Mesa. Mop-up work continues with crews reaching up to 150ft into the interior. Engines have set up hose lays helping crews gain more depth. The inaccessible areas are monitored visually by air and any flare-ups are being cooled off with helicopter water bucket drops. A Remote Automatic Weather Stations (Raws) has been installed on the High Mesa to improve local forecasting.
Current Resources: Five 20-person crews, eight engines, two dozers, one water tenders, and three helicopters. Total personnel: 287.
Today’s Activities: Crews are warned to watch for passage of storm cells that can cause erratic winds and consequently extreme fire behavior. Crews will be focusing on mop-up activities on the High Mesa portions of fire area, taking direct suppression actions where terrain and fire behavior allow.
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 uses 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. The closure includes the High Mesa Road (3001) and spurs roads (3001a-i) off that road. It also includes the High Mesa Trail, and the Big Blue Ridge Road (3006) and the spur/branch roads (3006b-c) off that road. 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. Please remember fire-works are never allowed on Forest Service lands!
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 Wildfire information on how to protect your home and family go to: www.firewise.org
If anyone wants to help or thank firefighters, contributions can be made to:
National Wildland Firefighters Foundation which provides support for the families of injured firefighters:
For further Fire Information, visit: www.inciweb.org; Select “East Fork Fire”
East Fork Fire email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or call the Forest fire hotline 970-874-6602.