416 Fire Update June 20, 2018 (8 a.m.)

Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team – Todd Pechota, Incident Commander
Information Center: 970-403-5326
Hours of operation: 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Website for 416 Fire: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5822
Email: 2018_cosjf_416@firenet.gov

 

Special notes: All residents evacuated during the 416 Fire have now been able to return to their homes and businesses. (Falls Creek Ranch and High Meadows subdivisions remain under pre-evacuation.)

The normal time an Incident Management Team is assigned to a fire is 14 days, after which they return home to rest and prepare for their next assignment. The Rocky Mountain Team will reach this time frame in the latter part of this week. An orderly transition will occur with another highly qualified team, which will then lead the nearly 700 firefighters who remain on the incident. Fire managers are currently planning this transition, and more information will follow as it becomes available. Paramount in this planning is ensuring that the fire, our firefighters, and residents of local communities remain in good hands.

Weather: Relative humidity continues decreasing today, possibly as low as 10%. Temperature will be highs 78-81, lows 44-47. Winds are from the northwest at 8-12 mph with gusts near 25 mph. The Haines Index will remain at 6. By Thursday, isolated afternoon and evening thunderstorms may arrive. As the week goes on, a warming trend continues and humidity levels decrease. If wind speeds also increase, this combination may lead to Red Flag Warnings.

Current Situation: Moisture amounts received over the past few days curtailed active burning for the time being. Today, fire behavior potential remains low, but will rise throughout the week. Surface fuels have reheated enough to support some combustion; this tendency will increase in the coming days. The west side of the fire is most likely to see fire spread first. Residents should be aware that smoke will be visible as fuels smolder in already burned areas, and some fuels could kindle with visible flame. The 416 Fire will not be completely cool until the arrival of monsoons.

Branch I (Divisions H, D, A, E, F, and G):
Direct line on the south perimeter is now complete. Today, hotshot crews on the Falls Creek Ridge will improve the indirect line that ties from the Junction Creek Road southeast into the direct line. As operations are completed, crews will hold and patrol until critical weather periods are over.

Branch III (Divisions X, Y and Z): In Division X, crews are cleaning up previously cut logs. Firefighters in Division X, Y and Z are moving out equipment and looking for rehabilitation opportunities.

Division II: The Burro Fire is producing a separate update. See: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5834/

Closures and Public Safety: U.S. Highway 550 is open without an escort. For up to date information visit www.cotrip.org. For evacuation information, please contact the La Plata County Emergency Operations Center at 970-385-8700 or visit www.co.laplata.co.us. La Plata County’s 416 Fire Interactive Map is at https://bit.ly/416fire.

There are still countless recreational opportunities available and southwestern Colorado is open for business. Please see these websites for tourism and recreational opportunities:
La Plata County: http://co.laplata.co.us/
Official Durango Tourism site: https://www.durango.org/
Durango Business Improvement District http://downtowndurango.org/
Silverton, CO Chamber of Commerce: http://www.silvertoncolorado.com/and other area chambers of commerce

Fire Statistics:
Location: 13 miles north of Durango, CO
Start Date: June 1, 2018
Size: 34,177 acres Percent Contained: 35
Total Personnel: 678 Cause: Under Investigation
Resources Include: 7 Type 1 hand crews, 4 Type 2 hand crews, 21 engines, 9 dozers, 2 water tenders
Helicopters: Two Type 1 (including the Blackhawk), two Type 2, and two Type 3, (as well as two fixed wing aircraft)


Update 6/18/18 10:45am: 416 Fire Update

Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team – Todd Pechota, Incident Commander
Information Center: 970-403-5326
Hours of operation: 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Website for 416 Fire: https://www.inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5822
Email: 2018_cosjf_416@firenet.gov

June 18, 2018 (8:00 a.m.)

Special notes: Yesterday, evacuated residents and businesses in the Hermosa area returned to homes and businesses.

Weather: Warmer and drier conditions begin today. Temperatures will be mid to upper 70s with minimum humidity at 18%. Winds will be 4-8 mph with gusts up to 22 mph. This warming, drying trend will continue through the week with relative humidity values moving into the lower teens by Thursday. Isolated thunderstorms will return on Thursday.

Current Situation: Fire behavior will remain limited today with minimal to no growth. Much of the fire is now in a state of smoldering and creeping, and active flames have been infrequent. Today, however, starts a weather trend that will quickly dry out fuels and re-elevate fire potential as the week goes on. Activity tends to increase soonest on exposed areas such as ridge tops. While the threat to people and values has been significantly reduced, it is important to remember that the fire is not yet “out.” The San Juan Forest is still in an exceptional drought, with an overall deficit of approximately 5” of rain. The fire will not likely be fully cold until the arrival of monsoons.

Branch I (Divisions H, D, A, E, F, and G):
Weather and conditions did not allow eight out of the nine hotshot crews to get to the Falls Creek ridge yesterday. Today, two hotshot crews will be flown onto the ridge where they will construct direct line at the south edge of the fire, wrapping around to the northwest, and two more crews will hike in to that area to also construct direct line. As roads dry out, four more hotshot crews will hike up and join the crew already working on indirect line off the Junction Creek Rd, for a total of five crews working there. Crews will continue to assess protection needs for the structures at the end of Junction Creek Rd. There will be nearly 200 firefighters working on the ridge. While the risk of fire itself has decreased, these crews will still face considerably challenging conditions. A National Guard Blackhawk Helicopter with medivac capabilities stands by in case of medical emergencies.

Crews in Divisions E and F will continue to improve alternate, indirect firelines toward Junction Creek.

Branch III (Divisions X, Y and Z): Crews are backhauling equipment, monitoring the fire line, and starting to identify rehabilitation opportunities in these areas (as well as in Division A).

Division II: The Burro Fire is producing a separate update. See: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5834/

Closures and Public Safety: U.S. Highway 550 is open without an escort. For up to date information visit www.cotrip.org. For evacuation statuses, please contact the La Plata County Emergency Operations Center at 970-385-8700 or visit www.co.laplata.co.us. La Plata County’s 416 Fire Interactive Map is at https://bit.ly/416fire. Here, you can pinpoint whether you are in an evacuation or pre-evacuation zone, as well as your proximity to the fire’s perimeter.

There are still countless recreational opportunities available and southwestern Colorado is open for business. Please see these websites for tourism and recreational opportunities:
La Plata County: http://co.laplata.co.us/
Official Durango Tourism site: https://www.durango.org/
Durango Business Improvement District http://downtowndurango.org/
Silverton, CO Chamber of Commerce: http://www.silvertoncolorado.com/ and other area chambers of commerce

Fire Statistics:
Location: 13 miles north of Durango, CO Start Date: June 1, 2018
Size: 34,161 acres Percent Contained: 30
Total Personnel: 1,087 Cause: Under Investigation
Resources Include: 11 Type 1 hand crews, 13 Type 2 hand crews, 53 engines, 13 dozers, 5 water tenders
Helicopters: Three Type 1 (including Blackhawk), two Type 2, and two Type 3, (as well as two fixed wing aircraft)

416 Fire Website
416 Fire Facebook Page

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