West Fork Fire Complex update: June 22, 8 a.m.


A RED FLAG warning has been issued for today; this is the fourth day in a row where conditions are ideal for rapid fire spread and for the chances of any ignition source starting new fires.  Winds that have been pushing the fires will continue from the southwest at 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 35 mph wind gusts up to 50 mph on exposed ridges.  The fires are again expected to make significant runs. The size for the West Fork Fire Complex that now includes the Papoose Fire is 53,544 acres.

Papoose Fire: The Papoose Fire, southwest of Creede, made a significant run to the north yesterday afternoon going from approximately 2,000 acres to more than 11,000 acres.  It is burning near the Road Canyon Reservoir, 30-Mile Campground and threatening subdivisions in the area. Resources from the West Fork Fire are being moved to Papoose to assist with structure protection.

West Fork Fire:  Fire behavior on the east flank of the West Fork fire was moderated yesterday by the extensive use of air tankers.  As of this morning the fire was still southwest of South Fork about 7 miles. Most of the fire activity yesterday was a result of the two heads of the fire burning together. This pulled the eastern flank of the fire toward the north. Structure protection will continue along the Highway 160 corridor. Firefighters were able to hold the fire from spreading to the south and all structures and cabins at Borns Lake were not affected by yesterday’s fire activity.  The West Fork Fire is 42,516 acres.

Windy Pass Fire:  The Windy Pass Fire, which is burning in an area with less dense vegetation than the other two fires, grew only slightly yesterday to a total of 937 acres. Firefighters have been able to hold the Windy Pass Fire within the established indirect containment lines and there has been no damage to the Wolf Pass Ski area.

Evacuations:  There are multiple ongoing evacuations and pre-evacuations. For the most up-to-date information on evacuations please go to www.acemergency.org.

Closures:  Again, there are multiple road and trail closures the primary ones are Highway 160 and all roads and trails accessing 160 between South Fork and Treasure Falls and Highway 149 between South Fork and Creede from mile post 1 through milepost 22.