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West Zone Update June 27, 8 p.m. – Expect Heavy Smoke Overnight

Community Meeting in Pagosa Springs, Saturday June 29, 2013 1 p.m.
at the Community Center
A change in wind direction and an inversion has brought heavy smoke into the Pagosa Springs area this evening. Fire activity was minimal today and the smoke in the area is due to light winds and atmospheric conditions. Expect heavy smoke overnight, the inversion should lift late in the morning allowing the smoke to disperse.
There will again be a Red Flag warning tomorrow for dry thunderstorms.  Little if any moisture is expected from these storms with lightning and gusty winds being the primary concerns.
West Zone West Fork Fire:  The West Zone of the West Fork fire is the portion of the fire burning south of the continental divide. Some burning in beetle killed spruce on the west flank of the fire in the Weminuche wilderness put up a column during the day, but it was well within the wilderness boundary and did not pose any threats.  Structure protection is in place for Bruce Spruce Resort, which is still open, and mitigation measures have been taken in the West Fork Campground which is also open.
Windy Pass Fire:  Activity on the Windy Pass Fire today was minimal.  Crews will be reinforcing and maintaining existing contingency lines during the day tomorrow.
Evacuations: Pre-evacuation notices are in place for West Fork road and along East Fork road.
Closures:  Again, there are multiple road and trail closures; the primary one in the West Zone is Highway 160 from just north of the chain-up area to the town of South Fork.  For additional information on road and trail closures affecting the San Juan National Forest go to:
http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/sanjuan/alerts-notices
And for the Rio Grande National Forest:

http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/riogrande/alerts-notices

for highway closures go to: http://www.cotrip.org/roadConditions.htm

This story was posted on June 27, 2013.
  • JL Claycomb

    News of the east zone of the WestFork Complex (papoose and E W fork) is absent.

    • FYI

      The Denver Post reports that the Papoose zone has reached the Trout Creek area. A New Mexico station reported that this fire had “destroyed 500 homes and killed two people,” but I think they have it confused with the Black Forest fire in Colorado Springs.