Spring Creek Fire update – July 5

Rocky Mountain Area Complex Incident Management Team Two

A video on the Spring Creek Fire for July 5.
A video on the Spring Creek Fire for July 5.

July 5, 2023, 11:28 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 plans for today.

Spring Creek Fire map for July 5, 2023.
Spring Creek Fire map for July 5, 2023.

Jared Hohn, Incident Commander
Date reported: June 24, 2023
Cause: Under investigation
Size: 2,940 acres
Containment: 37%
Total personnel: 544
Location: Southwest of Parachute, CO

July 5, 10:18 a.m., – Current situation: The Rocky Mountain Complex Incident Management Team Two tactical plan for yesterday’s challenging weather conditions proved to be effective. Strong gusty winds began around 3 p.m., but the cloud cover kept the fire from heating up excessively. Overall fire behavior was relatively calm, burning through the underbrush.

Several days of drying conditions have increased the chances of smaller vegetation igniting and carrying fire; however, the larger fuels, like live trees, remain too moist for the fire to climb up the branches and torch. Torching can throw embers into the air and travel greater distances on the wind. In contrast, the creeping fire behavior is helpful in removing fuels from the area. Late in the afternoon, because conditions were appropriate, fire managers implemented the plan to ignite the dense oak scrub and mahogany brush on the northeast side of the fire. Using drones—unmanned aerial systems (UAS)—operators can strategically apply fire to the landscape from a safe distance. The plastic spheres dropped by the UAS contain a combustible chemical combination that ignites the vegetation. The purpose is to burn fuels under the most advantageous conditions and rob the fire of materials that could burn much hotter under drier conditions. If the test fires burn as expected and conditions remain favorable, there may be additional burnout operations inside the contingency lines.

Firefighters will continue to work the perimeter of the fire to address pockets of heat and prevent spread. Overnight infrared flights identify areas of intense heat, allowing firefighters to target the hottest spots. Night crews work to secure the edge of the fire, taking advantage of the cooler, moister night air. Crews are working all hours and all sides of the Spring Creek Fire to maintain control, and no containment issues are expected.

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: Mostly sunny skies, high temperatures, and low humidity are predicted for today. Winds will be light at 5-15 mph. Near critical fire weather is expected to return Thursday through Sunday with high temperatures and gusty winds. Residents must remain vigilent in preventing any new fire starts that would pull resources away from the Spring Creek Fire.

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.

Visit BLM Colorado River Valley Field Office and U.S. Forest Service – White River for closure orders.

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.

Facebook: Spring Creek Fire 2023 
Email: 2023.springcreek@firenet.gov 
InciWeb: Spring Creek Fire Information

Spring Creek Fire update – July 5