Red flag warning in Pagosa Country, fires now total 4,070 acres


A red flag warning has been issued for today and for tomorrow in Pagosa Country, including the area of the West Fork Fire Complex.

Drier air moved into the area last night and warm, dry and windy conditions are predicted through Saturday.

On Tuesday, cloud cover over the fires moderated fire activity, limiting total growth to about 800 acres, for a total of to 4,070 acres in the complex. Without the cloud cover today, increased fire activity, intensity and growth is expected.

Stage 1 fire restrictions go in to effect today for more information on the restrictions go the San Juan Forest website at For the complete story on fire restrictions, see Thursday’s SUN.

Today, the NIMO team has assumed management of the fire.  IC Curtis Heaton thanked the Durango Interagency Zone Type 3 Team for the great work they did on managing the fires.

West Fork Fire:  Most of the growth on the West Fork Fire yesterday was to the east of the West Fork River within the Weminuche Wilderness. There were also some short runs north up to the 11,000 foot level.  On the southwest corner of the fire, moderate weather allowed firefighters to build direct fireline around some spots and tie them into a rocky ridge, enhancing protection for the Born’s Lake properties.

Windy Pass Fire:  There has been minimal growth on the Windy Pass Fire over the last few days.  The fire has remained in a deep bowl that has, up to this point, sheltered it from the wind.  The fuel in the bowl is large standing dead spruce with a high potential, especially given today’s weather, for spotting beyond the existing fire perimeter.  Firefighters continued to scout and identify areas suitable for effective fireline construction. In some of the identified areas, crews have begun line construction. Firefighters continue to work with Wolf Creek Ski area on structure protection and mitigation efforts for the ski area.

Closures in the complex area remain the same.