Sunday, June 23, 2013

Wildfires Still Burning Uncontrolled

Well, there aren't any scheduled updates about our wildfires for another hour - but since there was  no containment last night on the largest fires, we'll just have to guess that they grew in size.  Currently, the biggest fire designated is the West Fork wildfire (which is actually 3 fires - the West Fork, the Papoose and the Windy Pass fires).  The news update last night put the fire at 66,200 acres, or about 105 square miles - and there is no containment.  The town of South Fork is still evacuated.   The East Peak fire is also not contained, and has burned 11,386 acres, as of last night.  The Wild Rose fire is 10% contained and has burned 1,067 acres.  There is a new fire in the Uncompahgre National Forest (near Owl Creek Pass and 3 to 4 miles southeast of the Silver Jack Reservoir); it was last reported at 370 acres, with no containment.  The Wild-Hacking Complex fire has burned 400 acres and is 90% contained.
   The Lime Gulch fire is 90% contained, and all evacuation orders have been lifted.  Telephone and power lines were to be operational by noon today in that area.  The Big Elk Meadows fire is still 95% contained, but it and the Fern Lake fire are expected to burn until the first heavy snowfall.  The Trickle Mountain fire is another new one.  It is in Saguache County, has burned almost 300 acres, and is 10% contained.  The Brush Creek fire has burned 403 acres; the Collins fire has blackened 380 acres. There are also fires burning at Rifle Gap, Derby Creek, and Bull Gulch.
  Not counting the fires that are now totally contained - the Black Forest, Royal Gorge, and La Veta - there are 81,764 acres of wildlife habitat destroyed or on fire - that equals a bit over 127.75 square miles.  We're on our second day of summer - how much of the west will go up in smoke?

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