Type 3 Incident Management Team takes over Chris Mountain Fire: 120 acres


Mandatory evacuation issued for Forest Road 628

San Juan National Forest Type 3 Incident Management Team

The San Juan National Forest Type 3 Incident Management Team reported the following about the Chris Mountain Fire:
Midday Update, June 29, 2023:
Fire managers have confirmed that fire has been kept out of the Devil Creek drainage and the fire held within yesterday’s retardant lines. A Type 1 Helicopter and a Large Airtanker are focused on dropping water and retardant on the east flank of the fire, continuing to prioritize keeping fire out of the drainage. There is strong competition locally and throughout the country for aviation resources as emerging wildfires are on the rise.

The San Juan National Forest Type 3 Incident Management Team reported the following shortly before 10 a.m. Thursday, June 29:
The Chris Mountain Fire on the San Juan National Forest Pagosa Ranger District was reported on June 28th, 2023 at 3:00pm. The 120-acre fire is burning on Chris Mountain, located approximately 12 miles west of Pagosa Springs, north of Highway 160. Archuleta County has issued mandatory evacuations for Forest Road 628, effective June 28th, 2023. To sign up for emergency notifications, visit the Archuleta County Emergency Operations website and to get current evacuation information visit their Facebook page.

OPERATIONAL PERIOD OF JUNE 29TH, 2023: The Chris Mountain Fire is burning in Ponderosa Pine and timber. Fire behavior decreased during the evening of June 28th. No structures have been lost, but some near the heel of the fire were considered threatened, prompting evacuations. Overnight, a “structure group,” or a firefighting team assigned to protect structures, established hose lays around threatened properties to further protect them in case fire approaches. The fire remains on National Forest System Lands and has not crossed onto private property at this time. Firefighters will begin scouting the fire on the ground and are formulating a plan for how to safely and effectively contain the fire. Firefighter and public safety are the top priority, followed by structure protection. Aircraft will be seen throughout the day, potentially dropping water and retardant, as well as circling the fire to gather information, provide aerial supervision, and to map the incident.
The local San Juan National Forest Type 3 Incident Management Team took command of the fire in the morning on June 29th. They will be implementing an area closure for public and firefighter safety. We ask that the public stay clear of the fire area. We are working hard to produce a map for the public. This is an emerging incident with many priorities, so we appreciate your patience as we pull together materials.

USFS photo/Chris Mountain Fire