Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Airpark Fire update Tuesday morning from:

Durango Interagency Dispatch Center
San Juan National Forest * Bureau of Land Management * National Park Service
Colorado State Forest Service * Bureau of Indian Affairs

Air Park Fire Update – July 24, 9:00 AM
Late-day rainfall on Monday decreased fire activity across much of the Air Park Fire area. Firefighters came off the fire beginning around 6:00 PM due to the rain. Growth was very moderate yesterday and the fire is now 5% contained.  The fire has burned 499 acres; 405 acres of S. Ute land and 94 acres of Bureau of Reclamation land.
Firefighters conducted a firing operation Monday to test the conditions for a potential burnout. In doing so, they were able to secure the north end of the fire in the vicinity of the dam.
A reconnaissance of the fire area this morning showed virtually no smoke on the west and south sides of the fire. Air tankers dropped a lot of retardant in these areas yesterday and then hand crews followed with line construction.
The large bowl on the east side of the fire is where fire managers had hoped to conduct a burnout. Due to yesterday’s precipitation, the burnout will not happen. Firefighters will be looking at building line in key areas to keep the fire from spreading eastward.
There were approximately 150 fire personnel on the fire Monday. Some fire personnel will be released today and some are being staged since the Rocky Mountain Region is experiencing numerous new fire starts. Three helicopters will be available today to assist firefighters with dropping water on hot spots as needed; there will not be any air tankers.
There have been no injuries or accidents. Cost to date is $145,000.
Contact:  Pam Wilson, Public Information Officer, 970-799-1179.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Airpark Fire Update Monday 11:40

Crews planned to back burn around the East flank to protect Animas Airpark and Dam infrastructure. Hand crews were to build fireline around several anchor points and a bulldozer was set to work on Southeast corner and the west side. We heard recently that two air tankers and a SEAT were to begin operations soon. Last night the fire was estimated at 514acres and likely grew some overnight. The fire is burning on Southern Ute Tribal lands and BIA has command of the fire.
Pre-evacuation for Trappers Crossing remains in effect on the West side of the fire even though the first house in the subdivision is over 2 miles from last night's fire perimeter. Fire behavior will be dependent on wind and we are watching for thunderhead development around the region. Higher humidity, calm winds and a bit of rain yesterday and last night helped keep the fire less intense.
Expect smoke to impact Durango and much of the area for the next few days.

Please be courteous to other drivers and emergency vehicles, don't become a hazard to others while trying to view the fire from roadways.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Airpark Fire Update

The “Airpark Fire” was reported around noon today and is burning west of Animas Airpark, primarily on Southern Ute Tribal Land.  At last report, the fire was estimated at 500 acres, but the active fire behavior we had seen this afternoon has subsided and the fire behavior has calmed for the evening.  The fire was burning to the west and may be visible from County Road 210 at the south side of the lake and the smoke plume is visible from a large portion of the County. 

Local, federal and Tribal firefighters will be on scene and watching the fire overnight and the fire management teams are developing a plan of attack for tomorrow. 

A pre-evacuation order was issued this afternoon for Trapper’s Crossing subdivision.  The forecast is for calm winds tonight, but the order is still in place and residents in and near Trapper’s Crossing should remain vigilant through tonight and tomorrow. 

La Plata County’s emergency notification system (commonly referred to as “Reverse 9-1-1”) now includes cell phones and VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol).  Residents of La Plata County may now register up to five cell or Internet phone numbers with their physical street address, ensuring that emergency notifications are received even when residents are not at home or don’t have a land line.  To sign up, visit the County’s website at www.co.laplata.co.us.

For preparedness information and early information and updates on emergencies in progress, citizens can follow OEM on Twitter at: @LPC_OEM.  To follow updates by text message without joining Twitter, just text “FOLLOW LPC_OEM” to 40404 on your cell phone and you will receive all updates posted by the La Plata County Office of Emergency Management by text message.

Pre-Evacuation orders given for Trappers Crossing

County Road 210 may have limited access due to high Emergency traffic

Airpark Fire now estimated at 500 acres. Local and Federal crews are battling fire West of Animas Airpark and South of Lake Nighthorse

From US Forest Service:


U.S. Forest Service w Bureau of Land Management w National Park Service w Bureau of Indian Affairs w Colorado State Forest Service

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sunday, July 22, 2012, 6:15 p.m.
Airpark Fire now estimated at 500 acres

DURANGO - The Airpark Fire, reported at noon today south of Durango, has grown to an estimated 500 acres. The fire has crossed over the ridge to the west and is headed towards Lake Nighthorse.  Two heavy helicopters and 2 heavy air tankers are ordered and en route.

Ann H. Bond
Public Affairs Specialist