Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Little Sand Daily Update from SJNF

From the Little Sand Fire management team. Vallecito Community Meeting 6PM Thursday at their Community Center. Be sure to check out more links at the bottom of the release


U.S. Forest Service w Archuleta County  w  Hinsdale County w Bureau of Land Management w National Park Service w Bureau of Indian Affairs w Colorado State Forest Service
Little Sand Fire Daily Update – June 26, 2012 8:00 AMSan Juan National Forest
Community Meeting
 Vallecitos Community Center
6:00 pm June 28, 2012
A Red Flag Warning will be in effect over the fire from noon to the evening hours Tuesday because of the threat of dry lighting over the fire with gusty outflow winds and dry fuels.  Outflow winds could reach 45 miles per hour from any storm that forms.  
Tuesday Fire fighters will continue to protect structures in the Weminuche Valley, keeping the fire from advancing to the east , and keep the fire north of the Piedra River. Firefighters will also look for opportunities to engage the fire to the west and northwest.  Crews will work along the Baldy Mountain Trail, widening it in preparation for holing the fire there. Southwest morning winds will be light, increasing to 10 to 12 miles per hour with gusts to 20 as the day progresses.  Day time temperatures will be in the mid 80 degree range with humidity in the 10 to 15 percent.
Monday, the fire made runs on the east slope of Davis Creek drainage at the confluence with the Piedra River.  There were no more spots south of the Piedra.  Low intensity ground fire continued in the area above the Poma Ranch in the Weminuche Valley.  There was minimal activity on the north end of the fire as the fire encountered numerous aspen pockets.  On the western side, the fire continued to be confined to the ridgeline separating the Coldwater Creek and Sand Creek drainages. There was no advance of the fire towards the Vallecito area thirteen miles west of the fire.
During the afternoon on Monday, resources from the Little Sand Fire assisted in the successful suppression of a 10 acre fire near the Chimney Rock Archaeological area.  An air attack plane and a heavy helicopter were used along with personnel from Durango Helitack which were assigned to the Little Sand fire.  One of the helitack crew assumed the duties of incident commander.
Smoke dispersal around the fire will be poor in the early morning hours with improvement expected around noon as wind and temperature levels increase. Information on smoke densities can be found on links provided on the Inciweb site to smoke monitors located at the Sportsmans Campground area and Piedra River, the State air quality site, and smoke health information.
Poison Park Road (FR 644) remains closed to non-emergency traffic until further notice. The Piedra River Road (FR 631) to Poma Ranch is closed at the “Y”. A closure has been placed on an area to the north of the junction of the Piedra River and Coldwater Creek.  The closure includes adjacent trails.  Details on the closure may be found on the fire’s Inciweb site.  There are no closures in the Vallecitos area.

Day-use recreation areas near Williams Lake, and other Forest Service campgrounds in the area, remain open to the public. Private campgrounds and businesses in the Piedra area are also open. Guides and outfitters who normally work in the area around the fire have rerouted trips and are still in operation. Pagosa Springs and the Vallecito area are open for business as usual.

Information on the Little Sand Fire may be obtained by calling (970) 444-2201 or from the following web sites: 
Archuleta County: http://www.acemergency.org/

Fire stats at a glance:
Start Date: May 13th, 2012
Cause: Lightning
Acreage: 22010
Containment: 31%
Personnel: 220
Hand crews: 3
Structures Destroyed: 0

Cooperating Agencies: Hinsdale County,
Archuleta County, USFS, CSFS
Aviation: 4 Helicopters
Engines: 13
Dozer: 1
Injuries: 2
Cost to Date: $5.42 Million


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