West Fork Fire Complex update: June 22, 9 p.m., 66,200 acres


The West Fork Fire as seen near Pagosa Springs Saturday afternoon. The West Fork Fire as seen near Pagosa Springs Saturday afternoon.


By 7 p.m. this evening, the size for the West Fork Fire Complex, which now includes the Papoose Fire, had grown to 66,200 acres.

Papoose Fire: The Papoose Fire, southwest of Creede, continued to move to the north. It is threatening about 25 residences just south of the Rio Grande River along the Colo. 149 corridor.  Crews have been working all day in that area to protect the structures.

West Fork Fire:  The fire is still southwest of the town of South Fork. Firefighters continue to patrol and protect the town and outlining subdivisions and along the U.S. 160 corridor. In the afternoon, the northern flank of the fire, south of Colo. 149 in the Wagon Wheel Gap area, burned actively, putting up a significant column.  Heavy smoke prevented fire managers from determining the full extent of the fire in that area.  On the southern flank, the fire was more active today than it has been all week.  It made a run up the back side of Sheep Mountain to the east and is burning above U.S. 160.  Firefighters continued to protect all structures and cabins at Borns Lake.

Windy Pass Fire:  The Windy Pass Fire, which is burning in an area with less-dense vegetation than the other two fires, made a few short runs towards Lane Creek. 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 Creek Ski Area.

Evacuations:  There are multiple ongoing evacuations and pre-evacuations. According to InciWeb, the town of South Fork and communities of Cotton Cove, Big River, Wagon Wheel Gap are evacuated.

There will be a briefing for on the east side of Wolf Creek Pass at 9 a.m. on Sunday, June 23, at the Red Cross Evacuation Center.

Closures:  Again, there are multiple road and trail closures. The primary ones are U.S. 160 from the chain-up area to South Fork, and Colo. 149 between South Fork and Creede, from mile post 1 through milepost 22.