BLM says multiple structures threatened
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — The explosive Pine Ridge Fire, burning northeast of Grand Junction, has run down to the edge of the Colorado River and Interstate 70.
The interstate is closed in both directions east of Palisade, but the good news is that firefighters were able to successfully set a backfire to protect De Beque.
In a morning announcement, the BLM said the fast-moving fire threatens multiple structures. About 50 people have been evacuated from the area, according to the BLM.
The fire is officially estimated at 12,000 acres and 5 percent contained, with a focus on keeping it to the west (the highway runs north-south in that area) of the highway and away from developed areas.
A Type 1 crew is in charge of fighting the fire, with a structure protection team currently assessing homes in the projected path of the fire to determine the fire danger surrounding those structures.
Homeowners in the vicinity of the fire are asked to prepare their homes in the event that the fire approaches their structures. Homeowners should remove combustible materials away from their house. Lawn mowers, gas, oil, firewood or anything that could combust should be moved far away from the home.
Fire behavior continues to be extreme and the once remote fire is now approaching populated areas.
The fire is burning in tinder-dry pinon-juniper woodlands and sage-scrub terrain.
The Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit is coordinating closely with the Mesa County Sheriff. All agencies battling this fire are urging everyone to avoid I-70 in the vicinity of this fire. I-70 is currently blocked and all traffic is routed through De Beque Cutoff. If you do not have critical business in this area, you are asked to avoid this area.
Fire information about the Pine Ridge Fire is available on www.inciweb.org or by calling 970 456-3623.
For information about preparing for possible evacuations, log on to www.sheriff.mesacounty.us.