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West Fork Fire Complex Update -- June 26, 2013, 9:00 PM







Public Information:


Please do not call 911 unless it is an actual emergency.  If you have questions about the status of the West Fork Complex, please contact us at the above phone numbers. 


The following 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

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


Special Message:

In addition to the Colorado National Guard providing staffing for security and roadblocks, for the first time ever, the Army Reserve Space Support Team (ARSST) is embedded with the West Fork Complex.  The goal is to see if they can provide satellite imagery data to fire managers that can contribute to ultimately saving lives and minimizing wildfire damages.


Current Situation:

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

Portable retardant plants are being put in place near the Papoose Fire and the east side of the West Fork Fire.  This will allow aerial resources to respond more quickly to support the forces on the ground.


Papoose Fire:  The northwest flank was active this afternoon.  Firefighters continued to provide structure protection as the fire burned in the area of Crooked Creek and towards the Rio Grande dam.  The night shift will continue with structure protection as the fire burns through the area.  At this time there is no known structure loss. 


Eastern Part of West Fork Fire: This portion of the West Fork Fire was not very active today.  Near Lake Humphreys crews continued to provide structure protection as the fire continues to work its way down the hill.  Along Highway 160, firefighters were able to go along the fire's edge putting out any hotspots that were found.  Along Highway 149, structure protection continues on both sides 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. Activity on the fire was limited to single tree torching and low intensity burning in small pockets of previously unburned fuels.  Sprinklers have been installed and structure protection is in place along West Fork Road and Borns Lake.


Windy Pass Fire:  Activity on the Windy Pass Fire today was minimal.  Firefighters are close to tying off the contingency line on the north end of the fire.  They are taking advantage of natural features such as aspen stands, meadows, rock slopes and existing road and trails.  With the decrease in wind intensity the immediate threat to Wolf Creek Ski Area has diminished.  Fire managers are looking at possibly putting in a line with retardant to prevent fire spread to the east today or tomorrow.


Weather:  A series of thunderstorms passed over the Papoose Fire this afternoon, but were expected to subside by sunset.  A Red Flag Warning has been issued for tomorrow; however, there is an increasing chance of wetting rain over the weekend.


Evacuations and Closures:  No additional closures or evacuations have been issued.  Along Highway 149, traffic is being escorted between Wagon Wheel Gap and Highway 160.  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


Emergency closures in place due to the West Fork Fire Complex currently affect about 50 miles of the Colorado Trail on the Rio Grande National Forest and about 150 miles of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail on both the Rio Grande and San Juan national forests.  These trail sections are closed to all public entry between San Luis Pass north of Creede, Stony Pass east of Silverton and Elwood Pass northeast of Pagosa Springs, as identified within the closure orders.   For more information, contact the Rio Grande National Forest at 719-852-5941.   For additional information on road and trail closures affecting the Rio Grande National Forest go to: West Fork Fire Closures.   


Media Briefings:  There are no scheduled media briefings.  If media are interested in a briefing or interview, please contact the East Zone Information Office.


Fire Statistics:

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

Complex Size:  81,331 acres                                                               Percent Contained: 0%

Windy Pass: 1,381 acres                                                          Cause:  Lightning

            Papoose: 25,236 acres                                                             Total Personnel: 1406

            West Fork: 54,714 acres                                                                                             


Resources Include: 9 Type 1 hand crews, 18 Type 2 hand crews, 82 engines,  1 dozer, 7 water tenders, and

overhead personnel

Air Resources:  5 Type 1 helicopters, 2 Type 2 helicopters, 5 Type 3 helicopters, and 2 single engine airtankers



Places to get information:


Twitter: @rmt1pio

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/RockyMtn.Type1.IMT.PIOs.

Information Boards:  Information is posted at the Pagosa Springs Visitor Information Center, Freemons Ranch near Creede, the Forest Service office in Creede, and at the Red Cross Shelter in Del Norte. 

Photos:   http://s1286.photobucket.com/user/WestForkComplex/library/West

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 or 719-657-3279

Hours of operation: 8:00 am - 9:00 pm

West Zone Email: westforkfire@gmail.com  

East Zone Email: WestForkFire.EastZone@gmail.com