4 pm Sunday Ward Creek Fire update
The Ward Creek Fire has had no firefighter injuries and no structures lost. Fifty recent lightning strikes have been recorded, one started a new fire Sunday afternoon, and resources were deployed to that site immediately. The new fire is to the west of the existing area and crews are hopeful of containing that one quickly. The fire near Fravert Reservoir was put out quickly Saturday afternoon by air strikes.
People who had been evacuated were allowed to go back after the 4 pm meeting Sunday. Colorado State Highway 325 was open to residents only. It is not yet open to the public as a precaution, and residents are on alert that in they may be evacuated again, depending on conditions. Two engines are trolling highway 325 throughout Sunday evening, and access for the general public is restricted until the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office removes the roadblocks.
Incident Commander Jeff Berino said there was no significant growth of the fire Sunday, due to elevated humidity, cooler temperatures and light winds. He deployed 300 firefighters to work on the fire by Sunday, and will keep the full number of crews working Monday. He hopes for 100% containment by Wednesday.
The crews consist of: 3 20-person hot shot crews 6 20-person hand crews 6 engines Air support The fire covers an estimated 482 acres, determined by a detailed flyover with a GPS system. Sunday, crews managed to increase from 15% to 60% containment.Cost of the Ward Gulch Fire to date is about a million dollars, 60% of which is for air support. The fire management strategy was to heavily deploy air resources on the front end. That kept it from spreading too quickly, and had it developed into a 2-week event, it would have cost a million dollars a day.
Update 8:15 pm Saturday
Improved visibility and more accurate mapping of the burn area of the Ward Gulch Fire revealed that the fire has covered nearly double the area previously reported, The burned area has now reached 682 acres. The fire did not significantly grow Saturday, but had covered a much larger area initially. The fire is still estimated at being 15% contained.
Note: These are working drafts. The perimeter is a visual estimate. Mapping teams have not flown the fire for an exact boundary yet.
Update 5 pm – Saturday
The Ward Gulch fire near Rifle Gap has burned 340 acres and is 15% contained. An evening storm is expected to bring thunderstorms with dry lightning and strong winds to Garfield County, adding further risk to the blaze. Fire Incident management personnel are hoping that the fire will stay within its current uncontrolled fire edge and not cross Colorado State Highway 325. There are 2oo firefighters working on the blaze. It is burning pinon and juniper, which are fast-burning fuels. Residents who have been evacuated are still out tonight. There is a community meeting planned Sunday afternoon at 4 pm at the Colorado River Fire Rescue Station 41 (old Rifle Fire Station) at 1850 Railroad Avenue in Rifle.
A new fire has cropped up northwest of Fravert Reservoir according to Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Managment. Resources are enroute and a helicopter is doing bucket drops on it. No additional information is available yet.
Two briefings are scheduled this afternoon on this fire. They are:
3 pm media briefing at the Colorado River Fire Rescue Station 41 (old Rifle Fire Station) on 1850 Railroad Avenue in Rifle.
4 pm public briefing – Type 3 Team Public Information Officer Pat Thrasher and members of the incident management team will provide updates on the status of the fire and answer questions from the community at this same location.
A RED FLAG WARNING IS IN EFFECT FROM NOON TODAY TO 8 PM MDT THIS EVENING FOR DRY THUNDERSTORMS…GUSTY OUTFLOW WINDS AND DRY FUELS FOR FIRE. National Weather Service-|
As of 6 am this morning, Type 3 Incident Management teams assumed responsibility for the Ward Gulch Fire, and Thrasher is providing fire updates to Garfield County and the media. Currently, there are four hand crews and two single engine air tankers fighting the fire. There are also two helicopters – a Type 1 and Type 2 – working on the fire and dipping water out of Rifle Gap. There is also air tanker support out of Grand Junction available for this fire.
Rifle Gap is closed to boat traffic to facilitate air operations. Colorado State Highway 325 is closed north of the Grass Valley intersection. Rifle Falls State Park and Rifle Mountain Park are closed.
Evacuations were done of the area along highway 325 north of the intersection of Grass Valley Road, and those residents are still out of their homes. Thrasher doesn’t have a number of residents this affected to report. As of 9 am this morning, no structures are immediately threatened, and structure protection resources are in place.
The fire is still just over 300 acres in size, and is burning in pinon and juniper fuels.
“We know folks want to take a look at things,” said Thrasher. “And while Colorado State Highway 325 is open to the reservoir, we need to keep the highway open for fire resources, so are asking the community to please avoid unnecessary travel there to assist us in fighting this fire.”
These updates are posted at the Colorado River Fire Rescue Facebook page, and will be posted here as frequently as they are received. Fire status updates are also posted on Inciweb Incident Information System. A live video feed and live air quality data from downtown Rifle is available at the Garfield County website.
Update – Saturday, June 15 - This 14.7 acre burn is expected to be contained by 1 pm today.
Thursday evening, June 13, 2013, around 7:20 pm, several fires in Garfield County started by lightning. The largest fire was in the Beaver Creek/Porcupine Creek area off CR 320 on 10 acres, and is estimated to be contained by 6 pm Friday evening, June 14, 2013.
Images are shown online at www.garfield-county.com.
We live in a great area and are blessed to have an abundance of natural resources and scenic beauty that is unrivaled. Recently there have been some changes made to County Road 107 in an effort to mitigate problems and growing concerns of the general public and the citizens who use that road on a daily basis. County Road 107 is at the intersection of Highway 82 and Highway 133 (the stoplight from Hwy 82 into Carbondale). This road has become popular amongst hikers and mountain bikers alike. It serves as the entry road for the trailhead to Mushroom Rock as well as being the main roadway for several residences. The increased popularity of the trail and the roadway in recent years has created a conundrum of problems for all the users of CR 107.
CR 107 is a relatively narrow gravel roadway that winds its way up the mountain passing the trailhead as it goes. It is a multi-use roadway and needs to be used and enjoyed by everyone. The road widens and narrows as it ascends allowing places for pedestrians and cyclists to move aside as vehicles pass. Problems develop when people park in these areas or when people walk and bike in the middle of the road and do not use the shoulders. There is plenty of room if the roadway is shared and common courtesy is extended by all and to all.
Recently large rocks were placed at some of the wider areas to provide a protective barrier for hikers and cyclists when vehicles are passing. These areas will also be marked as no parking and tow-away zones so that traffic problems are not compounded by people parking illegally on the shoulders. Work is also being done by CDOT in the parking area at the base of CR 107 since this area is State owned land and not County land. With these improvements and delineations more people will be able to enjoy yet another remarkable and unique feature of western Colorado.
The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office applauds the cooperative efforts of the Garfield County Road and Bridge Department and CDOT as they work together in conjunction with the Sheriff’s Office to make this a safer and more usable area for the citizens and tourists who share this area on a daily basis. We also want to remind everyone that Mushroom Rock is a remarkable resource and that the roadway leading to it is a public road with multiple uses. Like many of the roads and trails in our County, common courtesy and good western hospitality will go a long way in making this experience a great experience for everyone.
Garfield County Sheriff’s Office
Community Relations Deputy/PIO
Tdap vaccines offered at no cost to county residents until June 1, due to recent pertussis outbreak
GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – Garfield County Public Health (GCPH) can no longer administer federally funded vaccines to fully-insured children. The change in policy was the result of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) implementing changes to its funding of childhood vaccines. The CDC defines fully-insured as “anyone with insurance that covers the cost of their vaccines, even if the insurance includes a high deductible or co-pay”.
Federally funded vaccines play a crucial role in assuring national immunization coverage and prevention of disease. With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, it is anticipated that more individuals will have private insurance that includes coverage for routine vaccines.
The change sets aside federally funded vaccines for those with the least ability to pay and who have no insurance coverage.
Garfield County residents with private insurance are encouraged to call their insurance companies to determine the level of coverage in place for routine vaccinations.
Garfield County Public Health is in the process of becoming an “in-network” provider with several larger insurance carriers.
Please contact the health department with any questions regarding these changes to the immunization program. Watch for updates at www.garfield-county.com.
In other Garfield County immunization news, the number of confirmed pertussis (whooping cough) cases in Garfield County has increased by two cases to 13 over the past couple of weeks. The newest cases were in New Castle and Rifle, while earlier ones were in Carbondale and Glenwood Springs. GCPH staff is optimistic since the cases have not spread more quickly and that the contagiousness of existing cases is waning, but continued vigilance is important. GCPH will still offer free Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) vaccinations to those 10 years and older until June 1, 2013. For more information, please contact GCPH offices in Glenwood Springs at 970-945-6614 and in Rifle at 970-625-5200.
The Colorado Department of Transportation says I-70 is closed from mile marker 116 to mile marker 134 in Glenwood Canyon due to a semi fire. Alternate route is CO 131, US 40, CO 13. This is expected to be a long-term closure.
March 30, 2013
Carbondale, CO – At 2:45 p.m. on Saturday, March 30, 2013, Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District was paged for a report of a structure fire at 690 Merrill Ave, Apartment 4. Carbondale Fire personnel were on scene within six minutes and reported dark smoke coming from the garden level windows at the rear of the structure. The first Carbondale fire engine arrived on scene 13 minutes after the 911 notification.
The fire was extinguished within 13 minutes of arrival of the first engine. The fire was contained to a bedroom in the apartment. The family of four that lives there is displaced. There was no damage to the other apartments in the building and those residents are able to stay in their homes.
No loss amount has been determined at this time. There were no firefighter or civilian injuries.
The fire department responded with two fire trucks, one ambulance and 15 personnel.
Carbondale Fire Chief Ron Leach said, “The Carbondale firefighters did an outstanding job today stopping this house fire.”
The cause of the fire is undetermined at this time.
The Carbondale Police Department and Red Cross also responded to this fire.
For more information regarding this incident, please contact Carbondale Fire Chief Ron Leach at 970-963-2491 or firstname.lastname@example.org .