West Fork Complex Fire Update

Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team- Pete Blume, Incident Commander

Central Coast Interagency Incident Management Team 7 – Mark Nunez, Incident

East Zone Phone:  719-569-4149

West Zone Phone: 970-731-2432

Hours of operation: 8:00 am – 9:00 pm

East Zone Email:WestForkFire.EastZone@gmail.com

West Zone Email: westforkfire@gmail.com**

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*July 4, 2013*

*9:00 am*

*Special Messages:  *Fire Restrictions for the Rio Grande National Forest
have increased to Stage II. To find out more information, go to
http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/riogrande/ or call 719-852-6271.

Stay safe during the 4th of July holiday.  Please adhere to fire
restrictions in your area, especially those associated with fireworks.

* *

The Joint Information Center closed as of last evening due to call volume
slowing down.  For fire information, please contact the appropriate Zone
office.  For Papoose and West Fork – East Zone, please call or email the
East Zone; for Windy Pass and West Fork – West Zone, please call or email
the West Zone.  Contact information listed above. * *

* *

*Current Situation:*

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

The strategies for operations on the fire include continuing protection for
structures and high value resources, as well as confining the fire to areas
where it will not pose a threat to local communities during the remainder
of the summer.  **

* *

*Papoose Fire:  *Yesterday, fire activity increased in the southeast corner
of Papoose, spreading in areas of beetle-killed spruce and old logging
slash.  Smoke and ash were observed in Pagosa Springs.  Sustained winds at
20 miles per hour, from the north and northwest, pushed the fire into
Copper Creek, west of Red Mountain Ranch. The fire was burning deep into
the interior and was not a threat to structures.  Similar weather and
extreme fire behavior is expected again today.  As long as the fire
continues to burn in these stands of dead spruce, smoke will be more
typical.  Falling trees in some areas of the fire continue to create an
unsafe situation and firefighters are avoiding those areas.  Burn out
operations along some of the meadows near Highway 149 is planned again
today which will allow firefighters the opportunity to even out the fire
line and achieve confinement.

*Eastern Part of West Fork Fire:* Firefighters will continue chipping
operations around homes where limbs and brush were cleared so fire hazard
is reduced.  Firefighters will continue fireline construction through the
Elk Mountain area and monitor areas along Highway 160 where fire remains

*West Zone of West Fork Complex (Includes Western Part of West Fork and
Windy Pass Fires)*

Incident Commander Mark Nunez Type 2 Central Coast IMT 7 assumed command of
the West Fork Fire West Zone this morning at 6:00 a.m.

* *

Fourth of July festivities in Pagosa Springs are bringing in up to 10,000 ~
12,000 visitors over the weekend.  Please be cautious of the fire equipment
traffic and come visit us at the Town Park booth.

* *

*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. Crews
completed backhauling excess firefighting equipment at Borns Lake, Bruce
Spruce and Wolf Creek.

*Windy Pass Fire:*  Firefighters continue to patrol and monitor the fire
area.  Forest Service Resource Advisor is continuing to monitor
Firefighting efforts in coordination for watershed conservation.

*Weather:* Isolated thunderstorms are forecasted with winds from the
northwest.  Increased moisture will slightly improve chances for wetting
rains.  True monsoonal moisture still appears most likely to arrive at the
end of next week, which is near average timing for southern Colorado.

*  *

*Public Health and Safety:*  Smoke monitors are in place in Pagosa Springs,
Freemon’s Ranch, Creede, and South Fork.  The monitors are identified as
#78 (Creede), #69 (Freemon’s Ranch), #25 (South Fork), and #65 (Pagosa
Springs).  All monitors can be accessed through the map located at:
http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/smoke.pl. Times displayed are in GMT –
subtract 6 hours to get local time (MDT).  For the official Colorado Smoke
Outlook, please visithttp://www.colorado.gov/airquality/colo_advisory.aspxand
http://www.colorado.gov/airquality/wildfire.aspx for further health
advisory information.

Please use caution when traveling along Highways 149 and 160.  Heavy fire
traffic can be expected along the highways and within the communities of
South Fork, Creede, and Del Norte.  In addition, heavy holiday traffic is
expected in the same area, and including Pagosa Springs.  Please do not
stop along the roads to take pictures of the fire or firefighters as doing
so could impede fire operations.

*Evacuations and Closures:*  Some communities still remain under
evacuation, others on pre-evacuation notice.  Residents are reminded to
remain vigilant and be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice in the
event that fire activity changes.  Visit
http://westforkfirecomplex.blogspot.com/ for a list of areas currently
under evacuation or pre-evacuation.  The list will be updated as conditions

For additional information on road and trail closures and fire restrictions
affecting the San Juan National Forest go to:

For additional information on road and trail closures and fire restrictions
affecting the Rio Grande National Forest go to:

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*Fire Information Meetings:* None scheduled at this time.

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*Media Briefings:  *There are no scheduled media briefings.*  *

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*Fire Statistics: *

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

*Complex Size:*  106,637 acres   
Papoose: 48,652 acres
Windy Pass: 1,417 acres
 West Fork: 56,568 acres
*Percent** Contained: *16%
*Cause:*  Lightning
 *Total Personnel: *1,234
 *Resources Include:* 7 Type 1 hand crews, 15 Type 2 hand crews, 62 engines, 3 dozers, 13 water tenders, and overhead personnel
*Air Resources:*  4 Type 1 helicopters, 1 Type 2 helicopters, and 3 Type 3

*Places to get information: *

*Blog:  *http://westforkfirecomplex.blogspot.com/ **


*Twitter: @rmt1pio*

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

*Information Boards:*  Information is posted at the Pagosa Springs Visitor
Information Center, Freemon's Ranch near Creede, the Forest Service office
in Creede, and at the Del Norte High School.

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

Public Information Officer
Rocky Mountain Type 1 Incident Management Team