West Fork Fire Complex Update: July 9 at 9 a.m.

Special Messages:  A community meeting will be held in Creede, Colorado
this Wednesday evening from 6-7 p.m. to give a fire update and address any
questions from citizens. It will be at the Creede High School, located at
308 La Garita Street (map: http://goo.gl/maps/Dagip). With monsoon rains
expected soon, there may be an increased risk of flash flooding, debris
flows and other impacts within and downstream of the burned areas.
Residents and visitors are urged to stay aware of their surroundings during
rain events and do not drive or walk through areas that have flooded.

Current Situation

Weather (East Zone)
Today is expected to be drier than the previous few
days, with relative humidity in the 20-30% range, and a chance of scattered
dry afternoon thunderstorms. Wind is expected to be 9-15 mph from the
west/northwest, with gusts to 20 mph.

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

Papoose Fire 
As weather conditions become drier and warmer, fire is
likely to become more active. Steep and inaccessible terrain and
beetle-killed timber make it unsafe for firefighters to use direct attack
tactics on the fire.  Falling snags are an additional safety hazard.
Helicopter water drops continue to assist ground forces in cooling off hot
spots and slowing fire growth on the northwest side and on the southeast
flank.  The remainder of the northeast side is in patrol and monitoring
status, with structure protection in place where appropriate.

Eastern Part of West Fork Fire
There is minimal activity on this portion of the complex.  A small spot fire was found yesterday, and was contained at ¼ acre with the use of water drops from a helicopter.

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

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)
A stagnant and strong high-pressure system over the area is continuing to
make slow westerly movement over this region.  Local Red Flag Warning is
issued for the West Fork Fire Complex – West Zone, due to extremely dry
air, dry fuels and poor maximum relative humidity recovery.  The warning is
valid from 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

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.

Windy Pass Fire
Eastern side of the fire continues to hold some heat.
Monitoring by air will continue today as well as Firefighters continue to
patrol and monitor the fire area.

Williams Creek Contingency Group
Firefighters will continue structure protection, patrol and monitor for new starts.

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 Colorado Smoke Outlook, visit http://www.colorado.gov/airquality/colo_advisory.aspx or
http://www.colorado.gov/airquality/wildfire.aspx for more information.

Evacuations and Closures
On Monday, July 8, several additional communities were removed from
Mandatory Evacuation areas.  Spar City remains in a Pre-Evacuation Status.
Wirtz Property, Rio Grande Reservoir (Forest Road 520), S Lazy U/Wilderness
Ranch, Hermit Lakes all remain under a Mandatory Evacuation.

For the most current list of Evacuations and Pre-Evacuations, visit:

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:

Fire Statistics
Location:  14.5 miles north/northeast of Pagosa Springs, CO
Start Date: 06/05/2013
Complex Size:  109,049 acres
Windy Pass: 1,417 acres
Papoose: 49,056 acres
West Fork: 58,576 acres
Percent Contained: 19%
Cause: Lightning
Total Personnel: 727
Resources Include: 3 Type-1 hand crews, 6 Type-2 hand crews, 32 engines,
2 dozers, 12 water tenders, and overhead personnel
Air Resources:  4 Type-1 helicopters, 2 Type-2 helicopters, and 4 Type

For more information
Blog:  http://westforkfirecomplex.blogspot.com/
Twitter: @RioGrandeUSFS 
Photos:  http://s1286.photobucket.com/user/WestForkComplex/library/

Information from the:
Eastern Great Basin Incident Management Team 1 – Beth Lund, Incident

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

East Zone Phone:  719-569-4149

West Zone Phone: 970-731-2745

Hours of operation: 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

East Zone Email: WestForkFire.EastZone@gmail.com

West Zone Email: westforkfire@gmail.com**