Spring Fire at 94,125 acres

Spring Fire Update (south)

July 4, 2018 - 9:00 a.m.

Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team Black

Shane Greer, Incident Commander

Information Center: 719-695-9573

Hours of Operation: 7 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Special notes: The fire acreage is now 94,125.

There will be a community meeting tonight, Wednesday, July 4, at 6 p.m. in the La Veta High School Gym, 109 E. Garland St.

Current Situation: Yesterday (July 3), fuels heated early, contributing to active fire behavior. Fuels will remain very dry today and susceptible to fire spread and spotting. Fire should be active by noon, however, fire behavior is expected to be less active today than it was on July 3.

Aircraft and crews worked in Division E yesterday and successfully kept this eastern part of the perimeter secure. Crews will continue to secure this area today, and expect to achieve some containment here.

Yesterday (July 3), fire behavior remained active in the southwest in Divisions H and K, moving south on Raspberry Mountain toward Bonnett Creek. Fire moved downslope close to Highway 12. Crews have constructed dozer line between the fire and the structures on Highway 12, and they spent July 3rd performing significant firing operations along the road and around structures, bringing black right down to the road north of Pine Haven. This tactic removes available fuels, giving the fire less to consume, therefore limiting spread. Crews have, thus far, successfully kept the fire west of Highway 12. Today, winds will be unpredictable in the narrow valley bottoms along Highway 12, which could increase potential for spotting into subdivisions or across the highway. Crews will continue with firing operations and mopping up spots, working to keep fire west of Highway 12. Heavy equipment is in the area continuing to remove fuels and create more defensible space.

Suppressing fire spread in Division K is a priority today. Fixed and rotor wing aircraft will both be at work. Fire managers have identified a ridgeline near Bonnett Park on which to construct fireline between Divisions N and K, south of the advancing fire front. Crews will also create contingency line below the ridge while minimizing resource and land impact as much as possible.

On the border of Divisions K and N on the south, firefighters continue extinguishing hotspots within the community of South Forbes. Yesterday, crews performed firing operations at the fire’s perimeter to keep fire from moving further south into the neighborhood. The fire continued slowly backing toward W. Indian Creek, throwing multiple spots south into

Division N yesterday, although overall growth and speed on the south and southwest was less than expected.

In Division Z on the southwest, crews have successfully constructed direct line along the perimeter from the edge of Division A east and south, connecting into W. Indian Creek.

Divisions A and D are holding well, and containment continues stretching further north in Division D.

Weather: Temperatures will remain in the mid to high 80s with relative humidity levels from 8-11%. Winds are out of the west-southwest at 8-12 mph with potential for 15-25 mph gusts. In the afternoon, winds will shift and come from the east, and these easterly winds will increase into the evening. There is a chance for wetting rain on Thursday and Friday.

Closures and Evacuations: Highway 160 remains closed from La Veta to Ft Garland. Highway 12 is closed from mm 7 to mm 22.5. Highway 69 is closed from mm 5 to mm 42 (open to local traffic only). For current evacuee information in Huerfano County visit the Huerfano County Facebook page: facebook.com/HuerfanoCountyOEM or call 719-695-9604. For evacuee information in Costilla County visit the San Luis Valley Emergency page: slvemergency.org or call 719-480-8719.

For More Information:

Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5875/ Facebook: facebook.com/springfire2018

Twitter: @Springfire2018 Fire Info Line: 719-695-9573

***Social media identifiers are now #springfire for both areas, #southspringfire (Team Black), and #northspringfire (Team Blue).***

Spring Fire Statistics:

Start Date: June 27, 2018 Location: 5 miles east of Ft Garland, CO Size: 94,125 acres

Percent Contained: 5% Resources: 986 Cause: Human caused, under Investigation

Evacuee Meeting: There is a daily 1 p.m. meeting for evacuees held at the evacuation center located at the Blanca/Ft Garland Community Center, 17591 E Hwy 160. The meetings will be live streamed on Facebook for those who cannot attend.