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West Fork Complex Fire Update -- June 25, 2013, 8:00 AM


Special Message: Several fire information meetings will be held over the next several days. 

Del Norte: Daily briefing at the Red Cross Shelter in Del Norte at 9 am

Creede: Tuesday, June 25 at 2:00 pm at the Creede High School Gymnasium

Lake City: Wednesday, June 26 at 2:00 pm at the Armory

Pagosa Springs:  Saturday June 29, 2013 at 1:00 pm at the Community Center

Current Situation:

East Zone of the West Fork Complex (Includes Papoose and Eastern Part of West Fork Fires) 

A night shift has been established for this zone which includes the Papoose Fire and the portion of the West Fork Fire that is north of the Continental Divide.  Several engines are monitoring the fire overnight and providing structure protection where necessary.

Papoose Fire:  On the west flank of the fire, firefighters are developing a plan in the event that the fire crosses Squaw Creek and threatens the Rio Grande Dam.  If the fire crosses the drainage, they will use firing operations to help back the fire down to the dam.  Along the north and northwest flanks, firefighters will continue to provide structure protection and will be evaluating structures further north on Highway 149.

Eastern Part of West Fork Fire: On the northeast and east flanks, firefighters will continue to provide structure protection along Highway 149 and near Lake Humphreys and Metroz Lake.  Structure protection is in place east of Highway 149 in the event that the fire pushes to the east and crosses the highway.  Firefighters in this area will be evaluating structures and monitoring the fire activity.  On the south flank, along Highway 160, firefighters will continue to work to keep the fire north of the highway. 

West Zone of West Fork Complex (Includes Western Part of West Fork and Windy Pass Fires)

Western Part of West Fork Fire:  The West Zone of the West Fork fire is the portion of the fire burning south of the continental divide. There continues to be moderate fire activity on the south flank of the fire above Borns Lake and farther to the west.  Firefighters will complete installing and testing a sprinkler system to protect Bruce Spruce Resort and other structures along West Fork Road today.  Structure protection for Borns Lake remains in place.

Windy Pass Fire:  The Windy Pass Fire had some active burning on the west flank of the fire in beetle kill yesterday and went from 1,244 acres yesterday to 1,355 acres by this morning.   With winds expected to come from the west today, firefighters are hoping to be able to use retardant drops to slow or stop the progression of the fire into Waterfall Creek.  Crews will continue to work on contingency lines protecting the Wolf Creek Ski Area and monitor the contingency line on the south end along East Fork Road.

Weather:  Yesterday wind gusts as high as 62 mph were recorded above Wolf Creek Pass.  High pressure building today will slightly reduce wind speeds and shift wind direction.  Winds are predicted to shift to the west/ southwest at 10-20 mph with gusting to 30 mph.  Relative Humidity will continue to be 11-16 percent.  The Haines Index has been reduced to 5 for today.  This indicates there is moderate potential for extreme fire behavior, intensity, and growth.  Given the warm temperatures, low humidities and extremely dry fuels it remains a heads up day for fire behavior.

Evacuations and Closures:  No additional closures or evacuations have been issued.  The road block at Creede was moved back to Wagon Wheel Gap yesterday.  Local traffic from Creede is being escorted between Wagon Wheel Gap and Highway 160.  This is for residents of Creede and those areas not evacuated along Highway 149 near the Papoose Fire.

Highway 160 from the chain-up area to South Fork remains closed.  Visit www.cotrip.org/roadConditions.htm for more information.

For additional information on road and trail closures affecting the San Juan National Forest go to: http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/sanjuan/alerts-notices

For additional information on road and trail closures affecting the Rio Grande National Forest go to: West Fork Fire Closures.

Media Briefings:  Media briefings will be held at 9 am and 9 pm daily at Centennial Park in Del Norte as long as there is interest.

Fire Statistics:

Location:  14.5 miles north/northeast of Pagosa Springs, CO              Start Date: 06/05/2013          

Complex Size:  79,182 acres                                                               Percent Contained: 0%

Windy Pass: 1,355 acres                                                          Cause:  Lightning

   Papoose: 23,605 acres                                                             Total Personnel: 1313

   West Fork: 54,222 acres                                                                                             


Resources Include: 7 Type 1 hand crews, 30 Type 2 hand crews, 68 engines, 1 dozer, 14 water tenders, and

overhead personnel

Air Resources:  3 Type 1 helicopters, 3 Type 2 helicopters, and 5 Type 3 helicopters


Places to get information:

Website: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3436/

Twitter: Follow the Rocky Mountain IMT at @rmt1pio

Facebook:  The Rocky Mountain IMT has a Facebook page dedicated to thank you’s to the firefighters working

on the fire line.  Visit the page at https://www.facebook.com/RockyMtn.Type1.IMT.PIOs.

Information Boards:  Information is posted at the Pagosa Springs Visitor Information Center.  Information

boards are being constructed and will be going up at Freemons Ranch near Creede, the Forest Service office

in Creede, and at the Red Cross Shelter in Del Norte. 

Photos:   A web album has been created, and we will be uploading photos to http://s1286.photobucket.com/user/WestForkComplex/library/

Phoenix National Incident Management Organization- Curtis Heaton, Incident Commander

Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team- Pete Blume, Incident Commander     

West Zone Information Center:  970-731-2745 or 970-731-2432

East Zone Information Center:  719-569-4149

Hours of operation: 8:00 am – 9:00 pm

West Zone Email: westforkfire@gmail.com  

East Zone Email: WestForkFire.EastZone@gmail.com