East Peak Fire: Stay Focused: Spread out, Mop Up, Patrol and Grid for Hotspots

“Firefighters on this incident are outstanding, even with the steep terrain that we are facing, we have no major medical incident to date and that’s phenomenal,” said Rob Powell, Incident Commander Trainee for the Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team C. As the incident progresses, complacency becomes a watch out for everyone. Powell reminded firefighters to be diligent and continue to focus on situational awareness.

Eight days after the initial lightning strike that caused the East Peak Fire, the size is estimated to be 13,472 acres. Hand crews have constructed 55 percent of the containment lines. The slight decrease in acreage is due to improved mapping with GIS systems.

A reconnaissance flight will be made today to assess small pockets of timber in the higher elevations of the Spanish Peaks Wilderness that continue to occasionally torch individual trees. This assessment will give firefighters better information to help them mitigate the occasional flareups that have been visible from main roads.

The day shift today will continue to focus on mop up and cold trailing areas of the southern perimeter, as well as patrolling for hot spots.

Vegetation is critically dry for this time of year. Wind gusts up to 13 mph are expected and with the steep terrain, especially in the southern portion of the fire nearest to East Spanish Peak, crews will be taking extra precaution as they construct hand line through timber that has not seen fire since 1906.

There was overwhelming support for the firefighters on the ground at the community meeting held last night in La Veta Town Park. We greatly appreciate the community outpouring; we will be posting the beautiful hand drawn Thank You’s at the Incident Base to display to the firefighters.

As of 9:00 a.m. this morning, Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center has been taken off Pre-Evacuation status per Sheriff Newman.

For more information about this and other fires, log onto www.inciweb.org. Follow the fire on Twitter @TeamC_FireInfo. Messages from the Incident Commander and other information are posted on the Team C website at http://sites.google.com/site/rmteamc. For more information, call 719-315-4808 or 719-742-3882.

Information provided by East Peak Fire Information Officers.