News Release - (July 29, 2016)
Disturbing trends in recent wildfire starts have led local U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement officials to request public vigilance regarding suspicious activity on public lands in southeast Wyoming and northern Colorado.
From July 15-26, five suspicious fires were started on the Medicine Bow-Routt and Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forests. The majority of these fires occurred fairly close to the Laramie, Wyo., area. The fires took place near Fox Park, Centennial, Commissary Park, Happy Jack Ski Hill, and Stub Creek, south of Woods Landing. All were suppressed during initial response by fire crews.
A persistent high-pressure ridge remains in place over the Great Basin and continues to push warm, dry air across the fire area and extend the weeklong drying trend. Temperatures ranged from 70° to 79° yesterday, while relative humidity dropped into the low teens. Consistent wind speeds of 20 to 22 miles per hour, with gusts up to 50 miles per hour recorded.
Today’s weather will be much the same as yesterday but with slightly lower wind speeds. There is still the potential for active fire behavior.
News Release - (July 28, 2016)
Warm, dry air blanketed the fire area yesterday, raising temperatures and lowering humidity. An unstable air mass created strong, gusty winds. Today’s weather outlook is much the same. Temperatures are expected to reach the 80s, and humidity will be between 11 and 13%. Winds over the fire area will flow from the west/northwest at sustained speeds from 9 to 13 miles per hour, with gusts 23 to 26 miles per hour.
High temperatures, low humidity, and strong winds will contribute to increased fire activity. Spotting up to ¼ to ½ mile is possible as burning embers are carried by the wind.
News Release - (July 27, 2016)
A ridge of high pressure to the west will continue to push warm dry air across the Beaver Creek Fire, extending the drying trend into its 5th day. Temperatures today should reach the low 80s, with relative humidity in the 12 to 15% range. The warming trend is drying light fuels, with even sage and grass now beginning to carry fire. Shifting and swirling air masses will produce gusts with the potential for ¼ to ½ mile spotting. Thunderstorms are expected this afternoon, but there is a low probability of lightning.
An infrared flight was conducted over the fire last night. The flight data will be analyzed today and incorporated into mapping and acreage figures tomorrow. The bulk of fire personnel are assigned to the southeast portion of the fire near Parsons Draw structures. Crews will use mechanical equipment to build and improve fire lines, burning out where necessary. Due to increased fire activity, three shifts are now being utilized to provide 24-hour staffing of the fire.
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.
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