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Release Date: 07/02/12
Contacts: Fire Information (970) 456-3623    

Pine Ridge Fire Update (06-30-12)

Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team- Bill Hahnenberg, Incident Commander   
Fire Information (970) 456-3623
Hours of operation: 7:00 am – 8:30 pm

Date June 30, 2012
Time 9:00 am                    

Current Situation: The fire was less aggressive yesterday but remained active until 2:00 a.m.  Crews will continue to reinforce the southwest corner while keeping it south of Horseshoe and Sulphur Canyons, west of the Colorado River and I-70, north of Main Canyon, and east of Mustang Ranch. The main priority remains protection of public and firefighters.

Crews on the northeast and northwest sections of the incident will construct fireline working off the roads and conducting burnout operations to remove unburned vegetation.  On the west flank of the fire, crews will hold and improve line as they mop up and remove low branches from pinyon and juniper trees to keep fire on the ground and easier to control.  Protection of Cottonwood galleries along the Colorado River is also a primary focus.

“The weather’s on our side today and we’re making good progress,” said Operation Section Chief Russ Long.  Temperatures will be slightly cooler with low relative humidity and winds out of the west. This will increase the potential for fire activity on the north and south flanks to push east. With lighter winds, the potential for long range spotting will lessen.

As of 6:00 a.m. this morning, management of the Pine Ridge Fire transitioned from the local Upper Colorado River Type 3 Incident Management Team (IMT) to the Rocky Mountain Type 1 IMT.  This will allow local fire management the opportunity to regroup and prepare for other initial attack and response needs. Several UCR Type 3 IMT members will continue working with the Rocky Mountain IMT.

Closures: Mesa County, Colorado— Tonight at 9:30 p.m., Sheriff Stan Hilkey in tangent with the Pine Ridge Fire Incident Commander and the DeBeque Fire Chief lifted the evacuation order for some of the residents displaced yesterday in the area south of the Town of DeBeque. The evacuation order remains in place, EXCEPT FOR:
•             Areas along Interstate 70 and the Frontage Road from the DeBeque Interchange south to S 1/2 Road
•             Between the Colorado River and 45.5 Road 
•             This include people with addresses on I-70 Frontage Road, S 1/2 Road, U Road, T Road and those address along 45.5 Road from I-70 to T Road

A fire warning is still in effect for this area and these residents, should they choose to return home, should remain on pre-evacuation alert. Mandatory evacuation orders are still in place for areas east of 45.5 Road from T Road south to Hwy 65. This includes those residents on or near Horse Canyon Road or "Turkey Tracks."  The danger in these areas remains very high. 

1-70 is currently open but travelers should be aware that road closures could be implemented if fire activity warrants.

Community Meeting:  A community meeting is being held today at 5:30 pm at The Community Center, 397 Minter Ave, DeBeque. 

Fire Statistics:   
Location: 10 miles northeast of Grand Junction, CO                                          Start Date: June 27, 2012
Size:  12,431 acres                                                                                            Percent Contained: 10
Cause:  Lightning                                              Total Personnel: Approximately 435    
Resources Include: 15 hand crews, 21 engines,  and overhead personnel.
Air Resources: 3 helicopters, 1 Skycrane arriving today, 4 heavy air tankers and fixed wing support

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

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Last updated: 07-02-2012