West Fork Complex Fire Update: July 11

Special Messages:  On July 11, at 8 p.m., the Great Basin Teamwill assume command of the entire complex as the Central Coast Team completes their assigned time on the western side of the continental divide.

Current Situation:

East Zone of the West Fork Complex (includes Papoose Fire and eastern part of West Fork Fire)

West Fork Fire (East Zone):  There are minimal areas of heat on this part of the fire.  Crews will monitor and patrol hot areas of the fire. Ridgetop winds this afternoon should not influenced the fire.  Crews will be available for initial attack if needed. Rehabilitation of hand and dozer line will continue. Crews will also continue to remove sprinklers, hose, and other equipment placed around structures along highway and throughout the fire area.

Papoose Fire:  Scattered interior heat on the fire is being monitored; the lines look good overall.  The fire will continue to be in monitoring and mop up status.  Afternoon west-southwest winds on ridgetops could result in isolated fire activity.  Structure protection will remain in place where appropriate.

Weather (East Zone):  Relative humidity continues to increase slightly each day as the monsoon system moves toward the area.Isolated thunderstorms are likely in the afternoon.  Winds are expected to be 6-10 mph, with gusts up to 30 mph near thunderstorms. The extended outlook includes the chance for scattered thunderstorms over the next few days.

West Zone of West Fork Complex (includes western part ofWest Fork Fire and the Windy Pass Fire):  Firefighters will be diligent maintaining the safety practices in these changing weather conditions.  Main objectives today will be continuing to patrol and monitor for fire activity and readiness for any new attacks.  Weather permitting, aerial monitoring will continue.


Weather (West Zone): The weather will be changing today as winds from the south begin to bring clouds, lightening, and rain to the area.  Scattered thunderstorms are expected this afternoon and evening.  Some thunderstorms may produce heavy rain which can lead to flash flooding. In addition, small hail and gusty winds may accompany these thunderstorms.


West Zone West Fork Fire:  The West Zone of the West Fork Fire is the portion of the fire burning south of the continental divide. Structure protection is still in place for the Wolf Creek Ski Area, Borns Lake Cabins, and Bruce Spruce Resort.  The West Fork Campground is open.

Public Health and Safety: Smoke monitors have been removed from the fire area.  For the Colorado Smoke Outlook, visit http://www.colorado.gov/airquality/colo_advisory.aspx or http://www.colorado.gov/airquality/wildfire.aspx for more information.

ions: All evacuations have been lifted. Residents should be cautious when returning to their homes as fire crews will still be working across the fire area, smoke will continue to be seen as interior portions of the fire continue to burn, and ash and mud flows are likely as rain moves into the area.


Closures:  The Rio Grande National Forest has further reduced the size of the fire area closure; Pass Creek Road and Tucker Ponds are now open. The Rio Grande River is open for boating and fishing from South Fork to Forest Service Road 522 (Fern Creek Road).  Forest Service Road 520 (to the Rio Grande Reservoir) remains closed beyond the junction with Forest Service Road 521. For additional information on road and trail closures and fire restrictions affecting the Rio Grande National Forest go to: http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/riogrande/. For additional information on road and trail closures and fire restrictions affecting the San Juan National Forest go to: http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/sanjuan/alerts-notices.

Fire Statistics:
Location:  14.5 miles north/northeast of Pagosa Springs, CO

Start Date: 06/05/2013
Complex Size:  109
,449 acres 

Windy Pass: 1,417 acres 

Papoose: 49,465 acres 

West Fork: 58,576 acres

Percent Contained: 25%

Total Personnel: 708

Cause:  Lightning

Resources Include:  2 Type-1 hand crews, 10 Type-2 hand crews, 32 engines, 1 dozers, 9 water tenders, 4 camp crews, and 266 overhead personnel.

Air Resources: 4 Type-1 helicopters, 2 Type-2 helicopters, and 3 Type 3-helicopters.

For more information:
Blog:  http://westforkfirecomplex.blogspot.com/  | Website: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3436/
 @RioGrandeUSFS  | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GreatBasin

Great Basin Incident Management Team 1 – Beth Lund, Incident CommanderCentral Coast Interagency Incident Management Team 7 – Mark Nunez, Incident CommanderEast Zone Phone:  719-569-4149West Zone Phone: 970-731-2745Hours of operation: 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

East Zone Email: westforkfire.eastzone@gmail.com
West Zone Email: westforkfire@gmail.com