Garfield County Emergency Communications Authority
8.16.23, 5:56 pm – I-70 is closed between mile-markers 116-133 both directions, Glenwood Springs to Dotsero, due to a land/mud slide.
8.16.23, 5:56 pm – I-70 is closed between mile-markers 116-133 both directions, Glenwood Springs to Dotsero, due to a land/mud slide.
National Weather Service Grand Junction CO
958 PM MDT Wed Aug 2 2023
The National Weather Service in Grand Junction has issued a
Excessive rainfall over the burn scar will result in debris flow moving through the burn scar into El Jebel as well as across Fryingpan Road north of Basalt. Runoff and debris flows will also impact Cattle Creek. The debris flow can consist of rock, mud, vegetation and other loose materials.
HAZARD…Life threatening flash flooding. Thunderstorms producing flash flooding in and around the Lake Christine Fire Burn Area.
IMPACT…Life threatening flash flooding of areas in and around the Lake Christine Fire Burn Area.
This is a life threatening situation. Heavy rainfall will cause extensive and severe flash flooding of creeks…streams…and ditches in the Lake Christine Fire Burn Area. Severe debris flows can also be anticipated across roads. Roads and driveways may be washed away in places. If you encounter flood waters…climb to safety.
Turn around, don’t drown when encountering flooded roads. Most flood deaths occur in vehicles.
Statewide — A Flash Flood Watch has been issued for the Grizzly Creek Burn scar, which includes Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon. The watch is anticipated to last until 10 p.m. As part of the safety protocol in place to protect travelers on I-70, crews with Colorado Department of Transportation are closing rest areas and the recreation path in the canyon. During a Flash Flood Watch, I-70 remains OPEN. A full description of the safety protocol are outlined in a media release distributed on June 2.
During the watch, CDOT will have personnel and equipment on standby in preparation for a closure. Employees are stationed at closure points at exit 116 (Glenwood Springs) and exit 133 (Dotsero). Crews will also be on standby at exit 87 (West Rifle). Evacuating travelers from the rest areas and recreation path requires significant time, so closing those locations ahead of time is necessary to allow a swift and safe evacuation of I-70 in Glenwood Canyon if a closure is needed.
Travelers should monitor National Weather Service updates for the area to see when the Flash Flood Watch ends. The rest areas and recreation path will be reopened when the watch ends. It may be extended if there is heavy rain in the forecast after the watch has ended. CDOT will not issue a media release for the end of the current watch nor future Flash Flood Watch alerts in Glenwood Canyon for the 2023 season.
Travelers can view closures for the Glenwood Canyon rest areas and recreation path on COtrip.org. First, go to the COtrip map. Next, select the “Rest Areas & Welcome Centers” layer. If the Grizzly Creek Rest Area and the Bair Ranch Rest Area display as closed, click on either rest area to see written information. If the recreation path is closed, the closure will be included in the written information. Rest area and trail users can also check the status of the rest areas and rec path by calling CDOT’s Region 3 customer service information line at 970-243-2368, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Hikers with questions about the Hanging Lake Trail reservations should reach out to the vendor at 970-384-6309 or firstname.lastname@example.org. CDOT does not handle hiking reservations or have real-time information about reservations or parking.
Mudslides in July 2021 prompted an extended safety closure for I-70 for approximately two weeks. Very little flooding took place in Glenwood Canyon in 2022, affecting only the recreational trail. CDOT has conducted extensive rockfall and debris flows prevention work in Glenwood Canyon. Crews will periodically conduct rockfall removal and related work in the canyon.
Commercial river guide services, including rafting companies, continue to have access to the Grizzly Creek and Shoshone Power Plant exits during rest area and recreation path closures, unless a Flash Flood Warning is issued and I-70 is closed. CDOT and partner agencies continue to coordinate with river outfitters. Commercial river trips are limited in number and closely tracked, and companies can be notified immediately if an evacuation is necessary. Companies with access during rest area and recreation path closures have committed to evacuating their customers if there is a Flash Flood Warning, or mudslides, and have liability insurance in place.
Motorists planning to travel on I-70, visit rest areas or use the recreation path in Glenwood Canyon should pay close attention to weather forecasts. If there is rain in the forecast, it is possible there will be a safety closure of I-70, rest areas and recreation path. Travelers should use COtrip.org for planning an alternate route in the event of an I-70 closure.
7.25.23, 10:11 pm – I-70 between Exit 72: West Parachute (3 miles west of Parachute) and Exit 62: De Beque (De Beque) from Mile Point 71 to Mile Point 62. The roadway is reopened to traffic.
US 6 eastbound between I-70 (De Beque) and I-70 (3 miles west of Parachute) from Mile Point 62.31 to Mile Point 71. Both shoulders closed due to traffic impacts.
7.25.23, 9:07 pm – Between Exit 62: De Beque and Exit 72: West Parachute (4 miles west of Parachute) at Mile Point 70. Road closed expect delays due to fire activity. Follow CDOT’s cotrip site.
Also, U.S. Highway 6 between I-70 and I-70 (3 to 4 miles west of Parachute) from mile point 70 to mile point 71 the road is closed. Expect delays due to traffic impacts.
7.25.23, 9:11 pm – Unfortunately, we have another fire that started about a mile east of the Una Bridge and Highway 6 near Parachute. County Road 300 has been closed at approximately mile marker 2. Please stay from the area to let our first responders do their jobs safely. Garfield County Sheriff facebook
7.25.23, 10:15 pm – Eastbound closure is currently the right lane only. Westbound will remain open. HWY 6 is closed from Debeque to West Parachute.
7.25.23, 8:09 pm – Parachute PD posted on facebook that crews were en route to a new fire. Around the 70 mile-marker on I70…just east of the Industrial Park. Will update when we have further. Follow Parachute PD on facebook.
Photos courtesy of Garfield County Sheriff’s Office.
GARFIELD COUNTY, CO. – 7.18.23, 9:23 p.m.
STAGE I FIRE RESTRICTIONS BEGIN JULY 21, 2023
Garfield County, CO, The Garfield County Sheriff, BLM and the seven fire districts in Garfield County are implementing Stage 1 Fire Restrictions effective at 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 21, 2023. This applies to all of unincorporated Garfield County.
This decision was made with thoughtful consideration. We look at the data, the potential for significant wildfires and balance it with the impacts to our community. Our concern with the level of fire danger we are seeing is that one spark could quickly spread into a dangerous wildfire threatening lives, property and natural resources.
Fire restrictions are implemented based on specific criteria to include moisture content of vegetation, weather outlooks, human risk factors and firefighting resource availability. It’s been hot, dry, and unseasonably windy. So far this year, we’ve had 12 Red Flag Warnings, which is more than what we typically see over an entire year. The National Weather Service is forecasting above average temperatures and dry conditions with no relief from rain anytime soon.
With increasingly dry vegetation, severe drought conditions, and more hot and dry conditions approaching, the danger for human-caused wildfires increases even more.
WHAT STAGE I FIRE RESTRICTIONS MEAN IN GARFIELD COUNTY
Causing a fire during fire restrictions can be a class 6 felony and can be punishable by fines. Other possible charges include Fourth Degree Arson (M2) and Intentionally Setting a Wildfire (F3). You may also be held financially responsible for damage caused.
The use of fireworks, flares, or other incendiary devices, including exploding targets, are always prohibited on federal lands.
A “Developed Area” is an area, whether within city limits or rural, that is groomed, manicured and or watered, where grasses, brush and trees are regularly attended to by land owner. This includes residential and business areas, improved recreational areas, parks and other common areas.
“Undeveloped Areas” are lands that are not groomed, manicured, or watered, where grasses, brush and trees have been allowed to grow in a natural environment. This includes green belts that are not landscaped or manicured, open space lands, non-manicured park lands, and other areas where the fire hazard presented by the vegetation is determined by the authority having jurisdiction or designee to be an undue wildland fire hazard.
The Spring Creek Fire transitioned from a Type 3 to a Type 4 Incident early yesterday morning. We will continue to post updates to this page as new information becomes available. Smoke from interior fire activity is expected to be visible for weeks to come.
The Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit Type 3 Team wants to thank the community for their continued support and hospitality. Thank you to all the firefighters, cooperators, and overhead staff for their help on this incident.
If you are interested in fire activity in the area, follow the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit for live updates on new starts.
7.14.23, 6:50 pm – I-70 is open at mile marker 72 westbound, West Parachute.
7.14.23, 3:22 pm – I-70 is closed at mile marker 72 westbound, West Parachute, due to a fire.
July 13, 2023, 12:20 p.m. – The Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit Type 3 Team took command of the Spring Creek Fire early yesterday morning. Crews are actively engaged on the fire, mopping up, backhauling equipment that is no longer needed, and rehabbing suppression efforts. While fire behavior is minimal, smoke is expected and will be visible as the fire continues to burn within the fireline.
Fire Information Phoneline & Media Inquiries: (970) 200-6195.
7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Today at 6 am, the Rocky Mountain Complex Incident Team Two transferred command of the Spring Creek Fire to the local Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit Type 3 team. Updates will continue though the official Spring Creek Fire Facebook page. The Rocky Mountain Complex Incident Management Team truly enjoyed serving Garfield County the past two weeks and appreciates the hospitality and support.
This will be our last operational briefing with Planning Operations Section Chief Trainee, Jeramy Dietz.
We want to thank the community of Parachute, CO for allowing us to serve you. Further information on the Spring Creek Fire can be obtained from the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit starting tomorrow.
Jared Hohn, Incident Commander
Date reported: June 24, 2023
Cause: Under investigation
Size: 3,286 acres
Total personnel: 480
Location: Southwest of Parachute, CO
July 11, 2023, 9:05 a.m. – Current situation: Rocky Mountain Complex Incident Management Team Two is coordinating with the local Type 3 team to provide a smooth transition for the Spring Creek Fire. To ensure the fire is at the appropriate point for the exchange in leadership, Rocky Mountain Complex Incident Management Team Two fire managers and firefighters are working hard to improve containment and finish strong.
Yesterday, there was minimal fire behavior and firefighters worked the edge of the fire gaining more containment. The repetition and hard work of “mopping-up”, extinguishing or removing burning material near control lines, will continue today. In addition, firefighters are back hauling equipment no longer needed and providing suppression repair, mitigating the effects of firefighting efforts. Firefighters will patrol all sides of the fire, but the north side remains more active.
Rocky Mountain Complex Incident Management Team Two will officially transfer command of the Spring Creek Fire back to the local Type 3 team on Wednesday morning; therefore, this is our final report. Thank you for your support of the team and the firefighters.
Spring Creek Road and High Mesa Road are open to restricted traffic only. Please avoid these areas if possible and drive with caution because of increased fire traffic on the roadway.
Weather and smoke information: High temperatures, and low humidity are predicted over the next several days. Winds will be close to 20 mph. Near critical fire weather continues in the region Tuesday through Thursday. Please remain attentive to preventing any new fire starts.
Closures: Bureau of Land Management Colorado River Valley Field Office and US Forest Service White River National Forest have public land closure orders in place for the safety of public and firefighters.
Evacuations: There are no evacuations at this time. Residents are encouraged to register with Garfield County’s emergency notification system at: Garfield County Emergency Communications Authority (garco911.com). All evacuation orders will be conducted through the Sheriff’s office. Call recorded message line at 970-981-3401 for current evacuation information.
Temporary flight restrictions: There is a TFR (FDC 3/0215) in place for air space over the Spring Creek Fire to reduce impacts to fire aviation operators. Fire aviation response is halted or delayed if an unauthorized aircraft enters the TFR. Temporary flight restrictions also apply to unmanned aircraft system (UAS) or drones. If you fly, we can’t!
Fire information phoneline: (970) 414-1772 Time: 7 a.m.–7 p.m.
Media inquiries: (970) 414-1665 Time: 7 a.m.–7 p.m.
Starting Wednesday, 7/12: Please contact the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit for further information.