Some firefighting resources will be re-assigned to other fires
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Even as a fire storm engulfed quiet suburban neighborhoods in Colorado Springs, firefighters at the 87,000-acre High Park Fire made gains, announcing late Wednesday that they consider the fire 75 percent contained.
Regional firefighting managers said they may soon be able to re-allocate some firefighting resources to other fires, welcome news as firefighters and equipment are stretched thin across the state.
While individual incident commanders say that they have been getting all the resources they request, regional fire officials acknowledge that, with multiple large fires, the commanders are in effect competing for resources, even as reinforcements arrive from around the country.
“We are going to help those folks out,” High Park incident commander Beth Lund said, adding that the High Park fire will retain more than enough resources to meet challenges the fire may offer.
Air operations director Hugh Carson said, “We will have the necessary retardant capability and aircraft to manage flare-ups. We will continue to have dawn-to-dusk aircraft coverage over the incident.”
While the fire’s perimeter held stable, firefighters still reported torching of tree islands on the interior of the fire, as engines patrolled at-risk structures through the night Tuesday.
According to the latest update from InciWeb.org, crews are felling hundreds of hazard snags along public access roads, and assisting agencies that are repairing power and utility lines, work that needs to be completed to enable residents to return to their homes.
Firefighters Wednesday focused on smoke or flame near the line, assisted by aerial water drops. Most heat is in the western side of the fire. Structure protection groups of engines remain at Glacier View, Poudre Park, Rist, and Rustic.
Firefighters got a bit of a break from the weather Wednesday, the first time in a week without a red flag warning, but temps still climbed into the 90s, with gusty southwest winds continuing to create dangerous fire conditions.
Variable wind direction and speed, with thunderstorm gusts are causing active torching in islands. Isolated and group tree torching with short duration crown fire are occurring at all hours.