Rocky Mountain Area Complex Incident Management Team Two
July 7, 2023, 10:17 a.m. – Operational update from the Rocky Mountain Complex Incident Management Team 2. Jeramy Dietz, Planning Operations Section Chief Trainee, gives us an overview of each division’s operational plan for the day.
Jared Hohn, Incident Commander
Date reported: June 24, 2023
Cause: Under investigation
Size: 3,200 acres
Total personnel: 535
Location: Southwest of Parachute, CO
Current situation: The Rocky Mountain Complex Incident Management Team Two continues improving the holding lines around the fire and removing fuel from inside the perimeter. The smoke column visible yesterday was indicative of a successful burnout in the thick oak and mahogany brush on the west end where firefighters connected the fire to the holding lines.
When this incident began in late June, much of the vegetation in the fire area was still green and moist. The wind became a significant factor for fire growth because it contributed to rapid drying of the vegetation ahead of fire. With temperatures in the 90s this week, the vegetation is quickly drying out even without the effect of the wind or the fire. It’s much more receptive to burning than even a week ago. Fire behavior specialists have noted the fire responds to direct heat from sunny skies, so the lack of cloud cover in the next few days could lead to increased fire activity.
Given that fuels will continue to dry, fire managers plan additional aerial ignitions to strengthen the holding lines, further separating the fire from drying fuels. There is variation in how cured the herbaceous and woody fuels are depending on their elevation within the fire. At the 9,000’ level these live fuels are more than 200% moister than an average year, setting new records, while at the 7,000’ level the fuels are matching the historical average and are now fully receptive to burning.
Carefully planned ignitions inside the holding lines will deprive the fire of fuel and limit the opportunity for winds to escalate the fire. The plan for today is to keep tying the fire into the holding line by burning out small units at a time.
Spring Creek Road and High Mesa Road are open to local traffic only. Please avoid these areas if possible and drive with caution because of increased fire traffic on the roadway.
Weather and smoke information: Clear skies, high temperatures, and low humidity are predicted for the next several days. Winds will be close to 15 mph. A strong inversion will again develop overnight and burn off as the day warms. Near critical fire weather continues in the region. 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.