News Release - (July 26, 2016)
Hot, dry, and unstable weather continue to be a factor this week on the Beaver Creek Fire. Relative humidity continued to drop to 10-12% in the fire area; the lowest levels in quite some time. Temperatures should remain in the 80’s today. Afternoon thunderstorms and gusty winds resulted in active fire behavior yesterday. As a result, daily peak burning periods are longer with interior heat, smoke, and both single tree and group tree torching. Meteorologist Tim Mathewson advised the crews that northwest winds will continue to impact the fire.
Yesterday, firefighters began direct fireline construction in the southeast portion of the fire. In the afternoon, a combination of wind events and mechanical issues with the Type 1 helicopter dictated a change in operations. For safety reasons, the incident management team directed crews to disengage from direct attack and move back to a contingency line that had been constructed earlier in the week. They implemented a burnout operation that had been planned as an alternate strategy, setting fire inside a control line to consume fuel between the control line and the edge of the wildfire. This tactic slows the advance of the wildfire as the fuel the fire would need is eliminated. Crews will continue their work in this area today. The emphasis in this area of the fire is needed as fire modeling indicates this is a location for potential fire growth toward structures.
News Release - (July 25, 2016)
Warmer temperatures and lower relative humidity continue to dominate weather patterns in the area of the fire. Temperatures will hover near 80 degrees with humidity in the teens. Afternoon thunderstorms with gusty winds are expected as well. This will result in some interior heat, smoke, and both single tree and group tree torching on the fire. Tim Mathewson, Fire Meteorologist, told firefighters to be ready for wind shifts today.
A plane capable of capturing infrared imagery flew over the fire early Sunday morning, detecting heat within the fire’s perimeter. However, cloud cover interfered with obtaining complete imagery, so a second flight was ordered last night to provide more information. An infrared interpreter analyzed the thermal imagery and provided more information to the incident management team regarding the fire’s current status. The team will combine the new data with weather forecasts to make informed decisions about predicted fire behavior and suppression tactics. The thermal imagery can also help estimate containment in areas where crews have been unable to walk the fireline due to rugged terrain. It is expected that containment figures may go up as a result of this new data.
News Release - (July 22, 2016)
Due to a culvert replacement project on Lake Creek, a portion of Forest Road 517 in the Snowy Range will be temporarily closed for approximately three weeks, beginning Monday, July 25.
The segment of road to be closed is south of the community of Albany on the Medicine Bow National Forest. The closure will begin at Dry Park, at the intersection with Forest Road 513, and will run south for a little over a mile to the intersection with Forest Road 575.
Yesterday's fire activity again decreased in the afternoon as clouds came in and temperatures cooled. According to Fire Behavior Analyst Rocco Snart, "There was a lot of smoldering, but nothing was really well organized." Fire personnel expect similar conditions today with a possibility of thunderstorms this afternoon.
This weekend, the forecast calls for hotter and drier weather over the fire area. Vegetation that received rain over the last few days will begin to dry out, likely leading to an increase in fire activity.
News Release - (July 21, 2016)
Yesterday, the upper third of the Beaver Creek fire received one to two tenths of an inch of rain. The increase in humidity levels resulted in lower smoke and fire activity. The current cloud cover and potential for moisture is expected to continue through Friday, calming fire activity. However heat remains throughout the entire fire perimeter. Crews will use the moderated fire behavior today to better see the fire area and strategically plan for increased fire behavior when the current weather system changes.
This anticipated weather change is expected on Saturday, bringing drier weather and lower humidities. These conditions may again increase fire activity and smoke.
News Release - (July 20, 2016)
Warder’s Type III Incident Management Team assumed command of the fire from the Western Colorado Interagency-Team B Type 3 Incident Management Team at 6:00 this morning. Warder’s team is anticipated to manage the fire for the next two weeks. “Our team is looking forward to continuing the good work and success of the previous team,” said Incident Commander Jon Warder. “We’ll engage the fire when and where it’s safe for our firefighters and continue to protect values at risk.”
The current high pressure weather system will continue to bring the chance for showers and isolated thunderstorms over 40-50% of the fire area after noon today. Extensive cloud cover and storms will become more prominent continuing into the evening. This weather pattern is anticipated to continue through Friday, resulting in moderate fire behavior. Starting Saturday, fire behavior may again increase as the weather changes.
PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT - (July 19, 2016)
Yesterday fire activity was diminished due to cooler temperatures, cloudy skies and higher humidity. This slow down in activity allowed firefighters time for a "tactical pause to get ready for the next round," according to Fire Behavior Analyst Rocco Snart.
Most of the fire activity was on the southwest side of the fire west of the Hill Ranch. However, there was limited growth. The cabin north of Hill Ranch in the burn area was protected and is reported to be fine. Aerial ignitions were used between the fires edge and the 660 Road. In Parson's Draw, a brush masticator, which can chew up vegetation such as sage and small trees, completed the process of clearing out brush along the road. This is another measure to improve firefighter's ability to defend the homes there. The brush masticator has now moved to the northeast side of the fire between the Colorado-Wyoming border and 798 Rd and will be repeating the process to protect homes in that area. Crews continue to work on removing fallen trees along the fenceline of the Trophy Mountain Ranch, the fence remains secure.
News Release - (July 17, 2016)
News Release - (July 18, 2016)
Yesterday, a decrease in cloud cover lead to more active fire activity early in the day, as compared to the previous few days. This activity took place mostly on the southern edge, where the alignment of the terrain allowed the fire to travel and send up a large smoke column. Fire growth potential and heat remain throughout the entire fire perimeter, and the fire gained a total of 1,913 acres yesterday.
On the eastern flank, firefighters have accomplished good work inside of Trophy Mountain Ranch and the elk and fence are both reported to be in good condition. Crews will continue to work ensuring that fallen timber will not compromise the fence.
News Release - (July 15, 2016)
The weather observed yesterday was the warmest and the driest that the fire has had in the last week. High winds continued, but not to the extent we have seen recently. The wind direction however was from a slightly different direction, from the northwest. These winds were not in alignment with any particular terrain feature on the fire, but it did accelerate fire activity. No major spread occurred, but interior islands of unburned fuel and all edges were active. This allowed the fire to grow slightly by 897 acres.
Firefighters are patiently waiting for the fire to present itself in areas that provide them with the highest opportunity for containment success. An example of this is the east side of the 35 Rd. down to the Trophy Mountain Ranch. The fire is slowly working its way down this slope. In a few areas it has entered the ranch and firefighters engaged it by using strategic firing operations along a previously constructed fireline. The fencing on the Trophy Mountain Ranch continues to be secure.
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