Firefighters Continue to Battle the Junkins Wildfire as It Rages in Colorado
The human-caused Junkins Fire in Colorado, which started October 17, 2016, is burning in mixed fuels and affecting the Custer and Pueblo counties. The fire is burning on the Pike/San Isabel National Forest (PSI), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Colorado State Land Board, and Private lands.
Multiple communities are threatened and the fire is impacting a popular hunting and recreational area. The Great Basin Type 1 team took command of the fire on October 19, 2016 from a local forest Type 3 team. Evacuations and road closures are currently in effect.
Warm and dry conditions will continue to challenge fire fighters as they engage in direct and indirect line construction while monitoring and patrolling secured areas. Divisions are also working to identify needs for suppression rehab work.
On the northeast portion of the fire, crews will continue with monitor and patrol actions in the Mason fire scar. Along the north flank of the fire, crews will go direct, progressing east from Highway 165. Indirect dozer and hand line will be constructed along the Hardscrabble Creek drainage in preparation for possible firing operations. The northeast and eastern divisions of the fire remain in monitor and patrol status with engines continuing to secure around structures.
Along the southern portion of the fire, crews continue to secure lines with burning operations where needed and constructing direct line where possible. Multiple water sources have been established to assist as mop up operations continue.
Crews are bolstering the dozer and hand line for the fire break on the ridgeline north of Middle Hardscrabble Creek. When conditions permit, a burnout operation is planned for the next several days which will increase smoke in the area south of Wetmore.
Engines are patrolling around homes and subdivisions. Crews continue mop-up operations to ensure that there are no concealed hot spots that might reignite and threaten those structures. Firefighters continue patrol at night to provide additional protection monitor the fire at night.
Fire danger remains very high, and the public is asked to use extreme caution with fire and equipment that could ignite dry fuels.
Custer County is currently in Stage 2 Fire Restrictions. No open burning or campfires are allowed on private or public lands in Custer County. Gas and propane stoves are allowed.
Evacuation orders remain in effect for County Road 387.
Highway 165 is now open for public travel, however spur roads in the fire area remain closed. Custer County Road 358 is also open to public travel.
A Sky Crane Helicopter drafting water from a local pond. These heavy (Type 1) helicopters can drop up to 2,000 gallons of water which helps ground crews cool hotspots and secrure the fireline. #JunkinsFire
Posted by Junkins Fire on Monday, October 24, 2016
FORECAST FOR TUESDAY:
Mostly cloudy with isolated showers. Temperatures will be cooler than previous days with highs in the mid to upper 50s, with minimum relative humidity levels around 30%. Winds will be out of the west at 10-15 mph.
FORECAST FOR WEDNESDAY
Mostly sunny with temperatures warming into the mid 50s to around 60. Relative humidity levels will range from 20-25%. Winds will switch to west-northwest 5-10 mph with occasional afternoon gusts to 15 mph.
#Junkinsfire video update for October 25. Highway 165 is OPEN from McKenzie Junction to Rye past Bishop's Castle.
Posted by Junkins Fire on Tuesday, October 25, 2016