Mill Creek Wildfire—Final Update

Gunnison, Colorado, August 21, 2020 –
Current Situation: Fire behavior was minimal over the last operational period allowing firefighters to maintain control of the fireline. Command of the Mill Creek fire transitioned to the Gunnison Ranger District fire managers at 7 a.m. One fire module remains on scene, all other resources have been released. Fire managers estimate containment by end of shift today. Through the weekend, firefighters will perform mop up (cleaning up) operations and patrol the fire perimeter monitoring the area for any increased fire activity.

The fire will continue to creep and smolder in the intermixed vegetation of aspen, grass and brush within the interior of the fire perimeter. This type of low intensity, mosaic pattern burning will be beneficial to native vegetation and is used to help protect forests from more severe damage by clearing dried shrubs and grasses on the forest floor, ensuring that excess fuel does not accumulate and allow fires to reach the canopy of the trees.

National Forest System Trail (NFST) #450—Mill Castle Trail, remains closed from the trailhead at the western terminus of NFSR #727, westward approximately 7.6 miles to Storm Pass. This closure was put in place in the interest of public health and safety. For questions concerning this emergency closure please call the Gunnison Ranger District at 970-642-4425.

Firefighter and public safety will remain the priorities on this incident; therefore, the public is asked to avoid the area.

As a reminder, fire danger continues to increase. As a result, the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forests entered into Stage I Fire Restrictions Thursday, August 20 at 12:01 a.m. These restrictions were implemented to protect public health and safety due to the current and anticipated elevated risk of wildfire.

Under Stage 1 Fire Restrictions the following are PROHIBITED:

FIRES, CAMPFIRES, OR STOVE FIRES, including, but not limited to, CHARCOAL GRILLS, hibachis, and coal or wood-burning stoves.
Exceptions allowed:
• Campfires in Forest Service-provided, manufactured fire grates and grills within Forest Service developed campgrounds and picnic grounds.
• Petroleum fueled stoves or lanterns that use gas, jellied petroleum, or pressurized liquid fuel.
• Fully enclosed (sheepherder type) stove with a ¼” spark arrester type screen.

SMOKING, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, or in a developed recreation site, or while stopping in an area at least 3 (three) feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.

CHAINSAWS without a Forest Service or SAE approved spark arrester. Operators must be in possession of a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher with a minimum rating of 2A and a round-pointed shovel with an overall length of at least 35 inches.

WELDING or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame, except in cleared areas of at least 10 feet in diameter and in possession of a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher with a minimum rating of 2A.

EXPLOSIVES, including fireworks, tracer bullets, and exploding targets.

Fire Stats:
Cause: Unknown
Location: 12 miles northwest of Gunnison, west of Cunningham Reservoir and National Forest Service Road (NFSR) #727
Size: Approximately 5 acres
Threatened Structures: 0
Vegetation: Grass, brush and aspen
Resources: 1 engine module
Total Personnel: 9
Fire Behavior: Creeping and smoldering within the interior of the fire perimeter.
Alerts: GMUG National Forests entered into Stage I Fire Restrictions Thursday, August 20, 2020 at 12:01 a.m.
Closures: NFST #450 – Mill Castle Trail
Weather: Mostly sunny with wind gusts of up to 25 mph and a high of 88 degrees. Moisture is expected to return to the area early next week.
Public Health Info: Smokey conditions will persist in the area due to other fires across Colorado affecting overall air quality and smoke in the area. For a detailed daily air quality summary for the Gunnison River Basin Smoke Outlook please visit:
https://wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/GunnisonRiverBasin Wildfire fire smoke may affect your health. For more information see: https://www.colorado.gov/cdphe/wood-smoke-and-health.

Fire Information Links:
Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests Fire Information: 970-874-6602
West Slope Fire Information: www.WestSlopeFireInfo.com
GMUG Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GMUG.NF/
GMUG Fire Info Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/GMUGFireInfo/
GMUG Twitter: https://twitter.com/GMUG_NF


 

Mill Creek Wildfire Update
Gunnison, Colorado, August 20, 2020 –

Current Situation: Fire behavior was less active and allowed firefighters to successfully establish direct and indirect fireline keeping the fire in the Mill Creek drainage. The fire continues to creep and smolder in the intermixed vegetation of aspen, grass and brush. Firefighters will continue to patrol and mop up (cleaning up) the fire perimeter. As of this morning, the smoke jumpers, one fire module and the Type 1 Helicopter were released.

National Forest System Trail (NFST) #450—Mill Castle Trail, remains closed from the trailhead at the western terminus of NFSR #727,  westward approximately 7.6 miles to Storm Pass. This closure was put in place in the interest of public health and safety. The public’s patience and understanding is greatly appreciated on this manner. For questions concerning this emergency closure please call the Gunnison Ranger District at 970-642-4425.

There are no structures threatened or values at risk at this time. Firefighter and public safety will remain the priorities on this incident; therefore, the public is asked to avoid the area to ongoing fire operations.

Fire danger is increasing. The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forests entered into Stage I Fire Restrictions Thursday, August 20 at 12:01 a.m. These restrictions were implemented to protect public health and safety due to the current and anticipated elevated risk of wildfire.

Under Stage 1 Fire Restrictions the following are PROHIBITED:

FIRES, CAMPFIRES, OR STOVE FIRES, including, but not limited to, CHARCOAL GRILLS, hibachis, and coal or wood-burning stoves.

Exceptions allowed:

  • Campfires in Forest Service-provided, manufactured fire grates and grills within Forest Service developed campgrounds and picnic grounds.
  • Petroleum fueled stoves or lanterns that use gas, jellied petroleum, or pressurized liquid fuel.
  • Fully enclosed (sheepherder type) stove with a ¼” spark arrester type screen.

SMOKING, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, or in a developed recreation site, or while stopping in an area at least 3 (three) feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.

CHAINSAWS without a Forest Service or SAE approved spark arrester. Operators must be in possession of a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher with a minimum rating of 2A and a round-pointed shovel with an overall length of at least 35 inches.

WELDING or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame, except in cleared areas of at least 10 feet in diameter and in possession of a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher with a minimum rating of 2A.

EXPLOSIVES, including fireworks, tracer bullets, and exploding targets.

Fire Stats:

2020_08_19_MillCreekFireClosureMap

Cause: Unknown

Location: 12 miles northwest of Gunnison, west of Cunningham Reservoir and National Forest Service Road (NFSR) #727

Size: Approximately 5 acres

Threatened Structures: 0

Vegetation: Grass, brush and aspen

Resources: 1 engine module, 1 hand crew

Total Personnel: 31

Fire Behavior: Creeping and smoldering

Alerts: Red Flag Warning in effect from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. due to predicted dry isolated thunderstorms and wind gusts up to 15 mph. GMUG National Forests entered into Stage I Fire Restrictions Thursday, August 20, 2020 at 12:01 a.m.

Closures: NFST #450 – Mill Castle Trail

Weather: Partly sunny with isolated to scattered thunderstorms producing dry lightning are predicted.

Public Health Info: Smokey conditions will persist in the area due to other fires across Colorado affecting overall air quality and smoke in the area. For a detailed daily air quality summary for the Gunnison River Basin Smoke Outlook please visit:

https://wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/GunnisonRiverBasin Wildfire fire smoke may affect your health. For more information see: https://www.colorado.gov/cdphe/wood-smoke-and-health.

Fire Information Links:

Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests Fire Information: 970-874-6602

West Slope Fire Information: www.WestSlopeFireInfo.com

GMUG Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GMUG.NF/

GMUG Fire Info Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/GMUGFireInfo/

GMUG Twitter: https://twitter.com/GMUG_NF

Mill Creek Wildfire Update

Gunnison, Colorado, August 19, 2020 –

Current Situation: The Mill Creek Fire is actively burning in grass and brush intermixed with aspen. There are currently 50 firefighters working in steep rugged terrain. The fire crossed the Mill Creek trail overnight due to spotting. Firefighters will continue to work to keep the fire in the Mill Creek drainage and hold containment lines.

Due to the fire’s location on National Forest System lands the following closure will be enacted immediately:

  • National Forest System Trail (NFST) #450 Mill Castle Trail, from the trailhead at the western terminus of NFSR #727,  westward approximately 7.6 miles to Storm Pass.

This closure is being enacted in the interest of public health and safety. The public’s patience and understanding is greatly appreciated on this manner. For questions concerning this emergency closure please call the Gunnison Ranger District at 970-642-4425.

There are no structures threatened or values at risk at this time. Firefighter and public safety will remain the priorities on this incident; therefore, the public is asked to avoid the area to ongoing fire operations.

Fire Stats:

Cause: Unknown

Location: 12 miles northwest of Gunnison, west of Cunningham Reservoir and National Forest Service Road (NFSR) #727

Size: Approximately 5 acres

Threatened Structures: 0

Vegetation: Grass, brush and aspen

Resources: Smokejumpers, 2 engine modules, Type I Helicopter

Total Personnel: 50

Fire Behavior: Creeping and smoldering with isolated tree torching

Alerts: Red Flag Warning in effect from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. due to predicted dry thunderstorms and wind gusts up to 25 mph.

Closures: NFST #450 – Mill Castle Trail

Weather: Mostly sunny with isolated showers and scattered dry thunderstorms possible in the afternoon. Wind gusts up to 25 mph expected.

Public Health Info: Smokey conditions will persist in the area due to other fires across Colorado affecting overall air quality and smoke in the area. For a detailed daily air quality summary for the Gunnison River Basin Smoke Outlook please visit:

https://wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/GunnisonRiverBasin Wildfire fire smoke may affect your health. For more information see: https://www.colorado.gov/cdphe/wood-smoke-and-health.

Fire Information Links:

Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests Fire Information: 970-874-6602

West Slope Fire Information: www.WestSlopeFireInfo.com

GMUG Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GMUG.NF/

GMUG Fire Info Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/GMUGFireInfo/

GMUG Twitter: https://twitter.com/GMUG_NF

Mill Creek Wildfire Starts on Gunnison National Forest

Gunnison, Colorado, August 18, 2020 –The Mill Creek Fire was discovered August 17 at 4:30 p.m. It is burning in the Gunnison National Forest, West Elk Wilderness 12 miles northwest of Gunnison, west of Cunningham Reservoir and National Forest Service Road (NFSR)727. There are no structures threatened or vales at risk at this time. In the interest of public safety, fire officials ask to please avoid the area.
Fire Stats:Cause: Unknown
Size: Approximately 5 acres
Threatened Structures: 0
Vegetation: Grass, brush and aspen
Resources: Smokejumpers, Type I Helicopter
Fire Behavior: Creeping and smoldering with isolated tree torching
Road Closures: NoneFire Information Links:
Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests Fire Information: 970-874-6602
West Slope Fire Information: www.WestSlopeFireInfo.com
GMUG Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GMUG.NF/
GMUG Fire Info Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/GMUGFireInfo/
GMUG Twitter: https://twitter.com/GMUG_NFWildfire fire smoke may affect your health. For more information see: https://www.colorado.gov/cdphe/wood-smoke-and-health.

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