Update released for Quartz Ridge, Bear Creek fires


The following update was released on Sept. 20: 

Highlights: Tonight at 6pm, both fires will transfer command from Type 3 Incident Commander (ICT3) Nathan Hallam to ICT3 Scotty Nilson. Although, the fires continue to receive some precipitation daily, fire activity has returned in islands of unburned fuels within the perimeter of the existing firelines. Drier air and strong winds are predicted to move into the area for the rest of the week causing an increase in fire activity. Smoke will likely be visible at times. 

As conditions permit, prescribed fire activity will be taking place at specific locations around the San Juan National Forest. For the most up to date and detailed information visit, https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident-information/cosjf-san-juan-national-forest-prescribed-fire-program

Yesterday, firefighters assigned to the Bear Creek fire responded to a new lightning started fire located southeast of the Bear Creek fire burn scar. It was found burning near a structure, but fire crews were able to hold the fire at 1/10 of an acre and no damage was reported. 

Quartz Ridge Fire:  2,850 acres | 35 personnel assigned 

Firefighters have finalized work on the shaded fuel break along the East Fork Road. Fire crews will continue to patrol the perimeter for signs of fire activity and take actions where needed.  

Bear Creek Fire:  1093 acres | 15 personnel assigned 

Smoke continues to be visible within the interior of the Bear Creek fire when drier air, sun and winds are in the area. Smoke may be especially visible in the Weminuche Valley, west of Weminuche and south of Falls Creek. Crews will continue to observe the fire behavior and engage where safe to do so. 

Weather: After a dry air mass moves through the area this morning, thunderstorms are expected to build bringing gusty winds as they approach this afternoon and continuing through the night. On Thursday afternoon, cooler and drier air arrives with gusty southwest winds behind the front. Winds will remain gusty through Friday followed by moderating temperatures over the weekend. 

San Juan National Forest Temporary Closures: Closure orders remain in effect. Details can be found at Quartz Ridge Closure and Bear Creek Closure. Roads and trails within the Quartz Fire area are Quartz Meadows Rd (NFSR#684), Quartz Ridge Trail (NFST#570), Quartz Creek Trail (NFST#571). The trails within the Bear Creek Fire area are Little Sand Trail (NFST #591) and Shaw Creek Trail (NFST#584). 

Fire Information                       

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Phone: (970) 426-5370