Information from the Pine Ridge Fire Public Information Officer
Weather: Weather as forecasted for today will be similar to yesterday. Hot and dry conditions will remain in place with a chance of late isolated afternoon thunderstorms. Over the fire, gusty, erratic winds and stray dry lightning will be primary concerns.
Current Situation: Firefighters worked hard yesterday to contain 65% of the fire perimeter, located on the west, north and east sides. Today, firefighters will continue to search for hot areas to continue towards achieving 100% fire containment. Fire activity has slowed, but isolated burning within the interior of the fire is still expected. Safety hazards firefighters are dealing with are trees falling over, working in areas of rocky terrain with cliffs, and extremely hot temperatures creating a potential for dehydration.
Evacuations and Public Safety: The pre-evacuation order for all residents in and around DeBeque has been lifted. Lifting of the pre-evacuation order allows for large animals and livestock to return. Currently, fire officials do not anticipate any further movement of the fire perimeter. Because of isolated burning within the interior of the fire, smoke will continue to be seen. A smoke advisory is still in effect for Mesa County. Mesa County Health Department urges people to use caution when they are in areas where smoke can be seen and/or smelled.
Special Prevention Message: Fourth of July is a time to gather family and friends for a picnic or barbeque. Fireworks are usually part of the festivities. However, due to the high and extreme fire danger, the public is urged to adhere to the statewide open burn ban and ban on private use of fireworks. Many communities still intend on holding 4th of July celebrations, even without fireworks. For information on the State of Colorado burn ban, visit Colorado Division of Emergency Management at http://www.coemergency.com/p/fire-bans-and-fire-danger-rating.html.
On public land, use of fireworks is prohibited as well. Other restrictions are also in place, like prohibition of campfires, even in campgrounds and picnic areas. Visit http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/fo/gjfo.html for more information on the closure order.
Location: 13 miles east of Grand Junction, CO in the Bookcliffs
Start Date: June 27, 2012
Size: 13,920 acres
Percent Contained: 65
Total Personnel: 532
Resources Include: 4 Type 1 hand crews, 5 Type 2 hand crews, 35 engines, 6 water tenders, and overhead personnel
Air Resources: 3 helicopters and fixed wing support
Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team- Bill Hahnenberg, Incident Commander
Fire Information (970) 456-3623; (970) 283-1038
Hours of operation: 7:00 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.