Dry lighting still triggering small fires on Colorado Western Slope
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Firefighters have been able to contain a number of lightning-caused wildfires on the Western Slope of Colorado, including the Wrigley Fire and the Long Mesa Fire, burning in the BLM’s Black Canyon Wilderness area.
Elsewhere on the Western Slope, crews are still responding to reports of smoke and smaller fires, scattered primarily over the west and central zones, as thunderstorms continue to spark small blazes in dry fuel.
Suppression work on the Long Mesa Fire advanced using ground crews and helicopter assistance for logistics and some “bucket drops” of water. Better visibility and more accurate mapping capabilities reduced the affected area for this fire to 150 acres. Three crews continue to work on the fire in rough, rugged and remote terrain. Continue reading “Summit County crews assigned to regional fires”→
SUMMIT COUNTY — Saturday’s electrical storms across Western Colorado triggered more than 48,000 lightning strikes and sparked numerous fires.
The Wrigley Fire is burning on Wrigley Mesa. on Bureau of Land Management lands in the Black Ridge Wilderness area. The fire was reported about 4 p.m. Saturday, according to Lee Ann Loupe, of the Upper Colorado Interagency Fire Management Unit.
Loupe said another small fire is burning in timber on the Grand Mesa, near Powderhorn Ski Area. A hotshot crew has been dispatched to that fire.
Most of the fires are spread across the far western end of the zone, with less activity at the higher elevations, she said.
Sunday’s forecast calls for more dry lightning, gusty winds and little precipitation.
The Wrigley Fire is burning actively in grasslands and piñon-juniper stands.. Smokejumpers, an engine and a 20-person hand crew are fighting the fire.
On Saturday, more than 29 fires were detected, with crews responding first to fires with the highest potential to spread and potentially threaten private lands or structures.
Air support was also active in assisting with initial attack efforts and to provide support to fires both in the Upper Colorado River zone and in northwest Colorado.
Loupe said some fires were not immediately attacked, with firefighting crews spread tin across the area.
Fire officials say they’re expecting more reports of “hold-over” fires due to the lightning strikes, as high temperatures and erratic winds occur associated with continued storms move through the area.
Multiple fires continue to burn and suppression activities are on-going. Additional fire resources have been ordered to assist with the large fire load within the protection zone, including three “hot-shot” fire crews.
SUMMIT COUNTY — Spotty thunderstorms over parts of Colorado the past week didn’t dampen the overall fire danger, according to federal land managers, who decided this week to leave Stage II fire restrictions in place in the White River National Forest, the Colorado River Valley and Western Slope BLM lands.
SUMMIT COUNTY — A new wildfire, tentatively called the Pine Ridge Fire, is burning on the Colorado Western Slope, north of the Bookcliffs near Canyon Creek, and has already spurred some evacuations in the area.
The fire, believed to have been caused by lightning, has already grown to more than 200 acres, and may be burning on BLM lands not too far from natural gas wells, according to Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue Deputy Chief Jeff Berino, who is also a regional incident commander.
According to the reports Berino has heard, the fire is behaving aggressively.
Western Slope news outlets covering the fire say that an air tanker has been called from the Front Range to attack the fire in its early stages.
Coverage from Channel 5 in Grand Junction is here and the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel here.