East Peak Fire Update: June 28

Specialized Handcrew Tackles Last Remaining Spots on the East Peak Fire

The Arrowhead Hotshot crew will spend their day on the East Spanish Peak
putting out the last remaining spot fires on the ridge today.

Over the past week, two small columns of smoke have been visible from the
town of La Veta.  Located between two rock screes, small strings of timber
have slowly burned their way up the peak.  A highly trained handcrew, known
as a hotshot crew, capable of cutting large trees and quickly and safely
constructing line in very steep terrain, was assigned the mission to cut
these trees down and ensure those spots are mopped up.

While the fire area received only 0.12 inches of water last night, the
moisture was just enough to mitigate fire behavior and give crews a window
of opportunity to sprint ahead with mopping up isolated heat signatures
still scattered across the lower slopes of peak. Crews will also
rehabilitate firelines in areas that are cold to prevent erosion and to
speed the return of plants and wildlife.

The weather also created muddy slopes and hazardous conditions that will
require extra caution as firefighters work around the fire perimeter. The
additional moisture in the air will generate more atmospheric instability,
and hence stronger afternoon thunderstorms.

Ten handcrews, five helicopters, 36 engines, three dozers, and 16
watertenders remain on this incident.  As the containment on the fire
grows, resources will be released to support other incidents.

The fire is 75 percent contained and 13,521 acres. Due to the steep
terrain, very heavy timber and continued dry conditions, there is still a
potential for spot fires and thus, the fire will not reach 100 percent
containment until sufficient interior mopup is complete.

Roads that access the fire perimeter remain closed to allow fire traffic
safer access.

As firefighters move on to their next assignment, much gratitude has been
voiced for the donations and community support made to boost the moral and
comfort of the firefighters.

East Peak Fire Public Information Office