Colorado News

Friday, August 14, 2020

Grizzly Creek Fire a ’top national priority’ as it explodes to more than 13,000 acres

Governor Jared Polis (D-Colorado) visited the Incident Command Center for the Grizzly Creek Fire Friday morning where he said getting it under control was the top national priority. "I was actually just informed that the Grizzly Creek Fire is the top fire priority in the nation right now, " said Polis. "So resources are coming from around the country." He spoke Friday morning at the fairgrounds in Eagle, which is the command center for the fire that has now burned more than 13,000 acres near Glenwood Springs since it was first reported Monday afternoon. It exploded in size within the last day. Earlier estimated indicated the fire was over 14,000 acres, but due to better mapping the acreage was reduced to 13,441 "We had significant growth on the north, east and northeastern side of the fire, said Incident Commander Mart Adell for Great Basin Team 1.
KUSA-TV NBC 9 Denver

Mesa County Public Health: Wildfire smoke irritation and COVID-19 share similar symptoms

The state health department is studying a possible correlation between wildfire smoke and COVID-19. Mesa County Public Health tells us it's just too soon to tell for sure. The CDC says the irritation on the lungs from wildfire smoke can make a person prone to getting a lung infection like SARS, the virus that causes COVID-19. They are most concerned about a specific particle that penetrates deep into the lung. They say the best thing for now is to stay indoors in a clean air environment, especially for those most at risk. "People who have preexisting conditions that make them susceptible to COVID are likely to also be susceptible to the fine particular solution in wildfire smoke" says Thomas Orr, regional epidemiologist, MCPH. Garfield and northern Mesa are under wildfire smoke advisories until Wednesday morning.
KJCT-TV ABC 8 Grand Junction

Cameron Peak Fire 60 miles west of Fort Collins grows to 2,179 acres

The Cameron Peak Fire which prompted mandatory evacuations Thursday afternoon near Chambers Lake has grown to 2,179 acres as of Friday morning, according to the Larimer County Sheriff's Office (LCSO). The wildfire is burning in an area about 60 miles west of Fort Collins. Firefighters are being assisted by several helicopters and preparing for the arrival of additional resources and the Type 2 Team on Friday. An emergency alert sent Thursday from LCSO said there is "immediate and imminent danger" from the fire. Anyone in the are area from the intersection of Highway 14 and County Road 103 north to Four Corners, as well as the areas around Chambers Lake should evacuate the area as quickly as possible, the message said.
KUSA-TV NBC 9 Denver

After Evergreen ‘Dodges A Bullet,’ Group Raises Funds To Turn Old Fire Truck Into Wildfire Educational Tool

A push is on to raise money to transform an old fire truck in Evergreen into an educational tool to help spread awareness about wildfire readiness. It comes on the heels of the Elephant Butte Fire, which burned 50 acres in Evergreen and forced hundreds of homes to evacuate for a short time earlier this summer. The project is being organized by the group Rotary Wildfire Ready, which is funded through the Evergreen Rotary Foundation. Spokesman Doug Turner said the fire gave the Colorado mountain community a big scare. He says the area “dodged a bullet.” “Wildfire is our biggest risk up here. If we get a Hayman-type fire up here we’re going to have some real issues and right now, frankly, we’re just not prepared and we’re not educated,” said Turner, referring to 2002’s Hayman Fire, which is the largest wildfire in Colorado history.
KCNC-TV CBS 4 Denver

Colorado First Responders Use Yoga To Manage Stress During Coronavirus

Thomas Godinez vividly remembers his first emergency call. He was volunteering with the fire department in Fort Collins when the station received a call about a boat rescue. He was with a bunch of his college friends. "We thought we'd volunteer and just hang out at that station and work out together," said Godinez. He remembers someone had fallen out of a boat in Horsetooth Reservoir. The person wasn't wearing a lifejacket, so he said speed was of the essence. "I just remember my heart pounding out of my chest," said Godinez. "I was not anticipating what it was going to take, the mental fortitude and the physical fortitude, to do this job back then." Godinez now works at the Castle Rock Fire Department as an engineer and paramedic. He said he loves the variety of his job, but it's a high stress and high stakes environment.
CPR News

Garage fire creates smoke plume in Douglas County

Firefighters responded to a garage fire in Douglas County Thursday afternoon. South Metro Fire Rescue (SMFR) first tweeted about an attached garage fire on Deertrail Drive in Douglas County at 2:11 p.m. Thursday. That is in the area of E-470 and South Parker Road. Firefighters were able to prevent the garage fire from spreading through the wildland and into the neighborhood. SMFR said a two-car garage and vehicles inside were destroyed and there is heavy damage to an adjacent home. The agency added that there were no fire hydrants in this area so water had to be trucked in by water tenders. There were injuries reported from the fire, according to SMFR. Franktown Fire and Rattlesnake Fire assisted on the scene of the fire. A large smoke plume was visible for miles on the southeast side of the Denver metro area.
KUSA-TV NBC 9 Denver

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Pine Gulch fire continues to rise on list of Colorado’s all-time largest wildfires

The Pine Gulch fire, a lightning-sparked fire raging north of Grand Junction, spread overnight becoming the fifth largest blaze in Colorado state history, fire officials said. The fire, which ignited July 31, grew from 51,455 acres Wednesday to 68,323 Thursday, a gain of more than 16,000 acres, according to the Bureau of Land Management. Over 650 firefighters continue to battle the blaze, working to contain the smoke and flames which is still only 7% contained as of Thursday morning. The Pine Gulch fire continues to ravage timber litter and brush in a sparsely populated area of the western slope, but some residents living near country roads in Garfield County were evacuated during the past week, according to the Bureau of Land Management. Temperatures are expected to reach 90 degrees and dry winds blowing up to 27 mph are likely to exacerbate the fire's spread Thursday, according to the Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team Black.
Colorado Springs Gazette - Metered Site

Colorado C-130 Firefighting Force Battles Blazes In California

One week ago, a C-130H from the 302nd Airlift Wing deployed to help firefighters fight several fires across the state of California. “Two C-130s are conducting assigned missions. The 146th Airlift Wing are flying two aircraft the first week. They were replaced by one aircraft from the 302nd Airlift Wing, and one from the 152md Airlift Wing,” Colonel Greg Berry, 302 Air Expeditionary Group (AEG) -Wildland Fire Fighting Commander said. The C-130 from Peterson Air Force Base is equid with a US Forest Service Modular Airborne Fire Fighting Systems, also known as MAFFS. According to Colonel Berry C-130s with MAFFS capability are called up to help asset with fighting wildfires every summer. The requests come from the National Interagency Fire Center and is approved by the Department of Defense. Though crews are not always called up to help fight a specific fire. Sometimes C-130s work on several different fires in one day.
CBS Denver

Brush fire burns near Highway 7 near Broomfield; 3 firefighters suffer minor injuries

VIDEO: North Metro Fire Rescue responded to a brush fire burning just south of Highway 7 Wednesday afternoon. The fire burned in the Mountain View Egg Farm Open Space in Boulder County right at the county line with Broomfield. The closest streets near the fire were Anthem Ranch Road and Ellingwood Drive. That's between Flagg Drive and Lowell Boulevard. Three firefighters suffered minor injuries from the heat and smoke conditions, according to a news release from the Boulder County Sheriff's Office. The firefighters were taken to a hospital to be checked out as a precaution, according to Sara Farris with North Metro Fire Rescue. Farris said the firefighters did not have life-threatening injuries. Two fire engines sustained damage in the fire, according to a tweet from North Metro Fire. The fire was reported at around 3:15 p.m. Wednesday.
KUSA-TV NBC 9 Denver

Fire crews get help from unlikely places to fight Grizzly Creek Fire

VIDEO: Gregory Cowan’s years as a rafting guide trained him to run his own rafting company. Never did he think those skills would be used to help battle a major wildfire. Cowan and his wife bought then-named Rock Gardens Rafting in 2017 after Cowan had already spent years working as one of the company’s guides. Shortly after, they renamed the company Defiance Rafting. They’ve been operating under the name for three years now and up until recently, fun was the only service they provided. “I think one of the greatest benefits of this activity – and I think it’s even more acute this year – is that we provide people an opportunity to get out for two to a few hours and just kind of take a break,” Cowan said. But the good times stopped when the Grizzly Creek Fire started Monday afternoon and the No Name community, where Defiance Rafting is located, was evacuated the following day. Cowan stayed behind.
KUSA-TV NBC 9 Denver

Blown tire sparked fire that burned about an acre near Castle Pines

A wildland fire that burned just over an acre and prompted the brief evacuation of units of an apartment complex south of Castle Pines is now under control, according to South Metro Fire Rescue (SMFR). The agency responded to the fire around 3 p.m Wednesday in an area south of Castle Pines Pkwy. and west of Interstate 25, the agency said in a tweet. About an acre and half burned but crews were able to stop the fire before it reached nearby apartments. Evacuations at a nearby apartment complex have been lifted. No injuries were reported. Investigators determined the fire started from a blown tire and ruled it an accident, according to SMFR.
KUSA-TV NBC 9 Denver

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