Updated 6:37 a.m. July 4
History Fire consists of three wildfires, West Fork, Windy Pass and Papoose that are burning on national forest land in southwest Colorado. The West Fork Fire started from lightning on June 5, and is the biggest of the four by far. It is burning on the north side of Highway 160 primarily within the Weminuche Wilderness. It started about 1/2 mile up the West Fork Trail. The Windy Pass Fire was started by lightning on June 13. It is sitting in a deep bowl of large, standing dead spruce. It is growing much slower than the West Fork Fire. The Papoose Fire started June 21 west of Creede.
Estimated Size The three fires have burned a combined 98,241 acres.
Containment 16 percent
Growth Potential Extreme
Fire Behavior East Zone: Creeping and smoldering on West Fork. Plume dominated fire growth and extreme fire behavior on the southern perimeter of the Papoose Fire West Zone: Creeping and smoldering.
Significant Events East Zone: Structures east of Minnie Mountain, directly north of the Papoose Fire, and those east of the fire remain under evacuation, Structures on the northwest perimeter of the West Fork in the Humphrey's area, remain under evacuation. Subdivisions north and east of the West Fork Fire are under pre-evacuation as well as those along the northeast perimeter of Papoose. An area closure on the Rio Grande National Forest remains in effect. Firefighters worked toward confining the northern perimeter of the Papoose Fire from Rio Grande Reservoir around the northern most edge and south along Hwy 149. Firefighters are beginning chipping operations on the West Fork Fire where structure preparation efforts left vegetation on the ground. West Zone: An area closure remains in effect for the Weminuche Wilderness. The fires are being managed using a combination of full suppression, point protection, and monitoring as identified within the Management Action Points developed in the long term plan. Indirect line on the Windy Pass Fire is utilizing topographic features and fuel changes where probability of success is highest. Structure protection remains in place in the West Fork-Borns Lake Area and Wolf Creek Ski Area. Values adjacent to the highways are a concern and will continue to be.
Planned Actions East Zone: Continue implementing management action points identified in the WFDSS decision to delay or prevent fire from reaching identified values at risk. Continue using the risk analysis process to mitigate risk and provide for the flexibility to apply the right resource to the right task at the right time. Maintain coordination efforts on evacuations and suppression efforts with cooperators. Where appropriate delay fire spread using retardant delivered by helicopter/air tanker or advance fire where necessary to delay unwanted fire spread using aerial and hand ignition. Minimize suppression impacts to cultural, historical, and natural resources through consultation with resource advisors. Reinforce protection of structures from advancing fire by removing burnable vegetation and/or preparing structures for defense. Continue constructing handline, dozerline, and burning out to secure structures north of and seoutheast of Papoose and north of West Fork. West Zone: Continue mitigating risk prior to engaging in point protection tactics, managing risk top firefighters and the public. Where appropriate use water delivered by helicopter to delay and check fire spread. Continue point and structure protection as the fire progresses towards values at risk including the Wolf Creek Ski Area and the West Fork-Borns Lake Area. Monitor East Fork Road closure. Continue to coordinate with cooperators when developing procedures for timely evacuations and notification of closures. Continue to balance the risk to firefighters through calculated risk versus gain decision carefully weighing fire related hazards against the value to be protected. Continue to work with resource advisors to minimize suppression impact tactics to cultural, historical, and natural resources. Continue to monitor both the Windy Pass and West Zone portion of the West Fork Fire
Updated 5:55 a.m. July 1
History Fire broke out on Wednesday, June 19 at 5:10 p.m.
Estimated Size 13,572 acres
Containment 95 percent
Growth Potential Low
Fire Behavior Smoldering
Planned Actions Mopup, cold trail, and patrol along lines and around structures.
Updated 11 a.m. June 25
Estimated Size 14,280 acres
Containment 100 percent
Impact At least 509 homes destroyed, 3,653 unaffected. Twenty-eight sustained partial damage. There are still homes whose statuses are unverified.
Growth Potential Low
Planned Actions Continued perimeter patrol and mop up operations will continue to be conducted.
Significant Events 100% containment was reported.
Updated 12 p.m., June 18
Time/Date Started: June 11, 2013 approximately 1 p.m.
Location: Fremont County, Colorado
Cause: Under Investigation
Fuels: Piñon Juniper, Sage Brush
Size: 3,218 acres
Containment: 100 percent
Growth Potential: Low
Planned Action: Mop-up and patrol to secure control lines in all Divisions.