U.S. Forest Service officials are preparing to announce a suspension of prescribed fires on federal land statewide — creating new challenges for managing wildfire risks.
Federal forest supervisors made the decision covering the 14.5 million acres of national forest around Colorado after prescribed fires scheduled this week on several individual forests were canceled — due to diversion of forest crews to suppress wildfires and to the continuing dry and exceptionally windy conditions.
— More than 400 firefighters from several states were focusing on building
containment lines around the wildfire, which broke out Monday. Until now, the
fire’s erratic pattern has forced firefighters to focus on protecting homes, not
stopping the burn.
- Crews have been able to achieve 15% containment on the fire. The current affected area has been updated to 4140 acres.
- Air crews dropped more than 4100 gallons of retardant on the fire on Wednesday.
- The number of damaged structures remains at 27. The owners of all but one structure have been notified.
- A search team using dogs continues to look for a woman missing in the fire zone. Her home was among those destroyed or damaged.
- Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has suspended the use of state prescribed burns like the one that may have caused the fire.
Doug and Kimberly Gulick, 14186 Kuehster Rd., take videotape from the cellular phone while they dashed away from their home minutes after 5 p.m. Monday upon learning the flames from the Lower North Fork Fire were near their home. They say they did not receive a reverse 911 warning.
(Source: The Denver Post)