By Staff 6-28,2016
Consecutive days of low humidity and north by northwest winds greatly increased fire growth on the Beaver Creek Fire yesterday afternoon and through the night. Group torching and crowning continued into the early morning hours, a period when fires usually burn with less intensity. The fire grew to 9114 acres with the fire edge expanding on the south and west. The north and east edge of the fire did not significantly grow yesterday.
Firefighters protected structures overnight, mopping up hot spots left behind after the fire passed. The fire continues to move through heavy dead timber burning with high intensity. As the inversion moves out this morning fire activity will increase. Operations Section Trainee Chief Aaron Thompson briefed firefighters, “the fire is going to stand up and move. There is a lot of new fire edge but the mission remains the same, defend structures and build contingency line. Keep your heads up and keep safety a top priority.”
The fire is located south of the Wyoming border and 15 miles northwest of Walden, Colorado and has spread onto wilderness lands. Air attack began watching the fire this morning and ground crews will have helicopters available to them for cooling spot fires and hot spots. Structure protection engines will again prepare by setting up sprinkler systems, removing fuel and defending structures threatened by the fire. Dozers are working to build and improve on contingency fire lines.
Last night firefighters assisted with a civilian injury near a contingency fireline. Firefighters were able to use their “incident within an incident” protocol to assist with transporting the citizen to a hospital utilizing medical staff and equipment to communicate effectively with non-fire personnel.
All residential structures within and near the fire perimeter have been saved to date. The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office will provide information to residence and cabin owners in the evacuation/closure area. To obtain a picture of their property, affected owners can call (970)723-4242 to make a formal request with the Sheriff.
Existing evacuation orders remain in place due to the hazardous conditions near the fire perimeter. Closures remain in place and specific information can be found at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4797/.
The cause of the Beaver Creek Fire remains under investigation. Anyone with information on suspicious activity should contact U.S. Forest Service Officer Hannah Nadeau, 307-343-2335.