Containment of the Williams Fork Fire is now at 10 percent. The line of containment is near CR 30 along the western edge of the fire extending south to Darling Creek. The additional containment has been accomplished after several days of hard work; including construction of control lines, burning (utilizing aerial and hand ignition), and mop up operations. This has included extinguishing stump holes, burning logs, and other pockets of heat to ensure the fire’s edge is cold.
Crews continue utilizing heavy machinery to thin the dense timber along St. Louis Creek Road (FS 160). Steady progress is being made in cutting, limbing, and chipping vegetation, providing additional clearing along the road which will serve as a containment line if the fire moves into the St. Louis Creek valley. Due to the distance and amount of vegetation required to be removed, the work will take several days.
A combination of bulldozers, masticators and hand crews are spending their third day constructing a fire line west of Fraser. The work includes clearing of thick timber and removing potential fuels in addition to tying the line into roads and other features. When complete, the line will help protect the community and provide for fire suppression if the fire were to reach the area.
Weather: A second day of wetting rain dampened the fire on Saturday, reducing fire activity. The precipitation received will assist in slowing fire growth into next week. Beginning today, a dry and breezy pattern with increasing temperatures and lower humidity is forecasted. The drying pattern is anticipated throughout the coming week, with a potential for red flag conditions consisting of very low humidity and sustained wind possible by the end of week.
Pre-Evacuation Notice Lifted as Wetting Rain Dampens Williams Fork Fire
Yesterday Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin lifted the pre-evacuation notice for Aspen Canyon, Morgan Gulch, and Henderson areas, referred to as “Area 2” on the evacuation pre-planning maps. The Sheriff’s Office also opened CR 3 (Ute Pass) from Highway 40 near Parshall to Highway 9 in Summit County. CR 30 remains closed. The Forest Service closure area around the Williams Fork Fire remains – the closure prohibits all people not associated with the fire operations from entering the area by any means of transportation including by foot.
The fire should remain fairly calm today as a passing cold front moves through. High humidity and cooler temperatures will help firefighters suppress the fire as they take advantage of favorable conditions. However, parts of the fire received sufficient rain that may create muddy conditions for heavy machinery moving on slick mountain roads.
Facebook Fire Update: A fire update will be hosted on the @WilliamsForkFire Facebook page, live tonight at 5 p.m. Due to the reduction in fire activity, live updates will be discontinued beginning Monday. However, future live updates will be provided if fire conditions change.
The update will be closed captioned in real time through an online streaming text service for the deaf or hard of hearing populations. You do not have to have an account to view videos on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/williamsforkfire.
Evacuations: While being reviewed, area 1 remains under pre-evacuation. Residents and guests to the area can receive emergency notifications by signing up for CodeRED at gcemergency.com and downloading the mobile app to their phones. Area road closures are also listed on that web page.
Forest Closures: The U.S. Forest Service has a large closure order in effect west of Winter Park and Fraser that includes roads, trails and campgrounds. All areas within the closure are closed. Please visit www.fs.usda.gov/arp for details. Visit https://cpw.state.co.us/ for updated information about hunting and wildlife.
Fire Restrictions: Stage 2 fire restrictions are in effect in Grand County.
Fire Prevention: While the team cannot accept donations, there is something residents can do for the firefighters: remove overgrown vegetation around your homes and be prepared in the event an evacuation ordered. Download a Grand County Ready, Set, GO! Action Guide or visit BeWildfireReady.org to learn how.
For official fire information, maps and photos, please visit https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6971/.