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Wildfire near Grand Junction grows to 13,074 acres

The lightning-caused Pine Gulch Fire is 0% contained as of Friday morning, fire officials said.

MESA COUNTY, Colo. — A wildfire 18 miles north of Grand Junction has grown to 13,074 acres and is 0% contained as of Friday morning.

Fire officials initially said Friday the fire was 5% contained, but letter issued a correction saying it was 0% contained.

The fire has primarily grown to the north with small increases in acreage on the northeast on Wednesday and northwest on Wednesday night, according to a release from fire officials.

Through the day on Thursday, crews in all divisions continued work removing vegetation along roads and constructing lines around the fire. Favorable conditions overnight gave the crews on swing shift an opportunity to conduct a firing operation along two miles of the O 9/10 Road. A firing operation uses a fire lit along a control line to consume fuel (vegetation) between the control line and the fire. The overnight firing operation was successful.

On Friday, crews on the south side of the fire will hold and improve lines along the O 9/10 Road, in addition to continuing prep work on the west end of that road to potentially continue firing operation in the future. 

On the west-northwest side of the fire, crews will continue constructing line to the east with hand crews and bulldozers to tie into the 200 Road. Firefighters on the northeast side of the fire will continue improving the prep work on the North Dry Fork Road (200 Road) and continuing work around structures in that area. Crews on the south side of the fire will continue removing fuels along the X ½ Road. Aerial resources will be available again today to assist efforts on the ground.

The Pine Gulch Fire was started by lightning last Friday evening and is burning in Mesa County about a mile south of the Garfield County line.

Driven by hot, dry and windy weather, the wildfire is burning in rugged terrain, in pinyon, juniper, oak brush and sagebrush.

Credit: Inciweb

“The dense, dry fuels in this area are very receptive to fire, which is driving some intense fire activity today,” Pine Gulch Fire Incident Commander Jim Genung said. 

Resources assigned to the fire include two engines, two fire modules, two Type 2 hand crews and the Wyoming Hotshot crew, with air support from two helicopters, a single engine air tanker and two large air tankers. Additional resources have been ordered. 

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment issued an Air Quality Health Advisory Wednesday morning for northern Mesa County and southwestern Garfield County.

More information about the Pine Gulch Fire can be found on Inciweb.

Credit: Inciweb

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