Monday, July 18, 2016

Black Ridge Fire 100% contained

As of 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, the Black Ridge Fire is 100% contained. A 20-person Type 2 interagency crew comprising state and federal firefighters is assigned to the fire to continue with mop-up and rehabilitation work, including monitoring and patrolling for additional fire activity. A helicopter remains in Durango to support the crew and respond as needed. Given current fuel conditions, the fire will most likely not be declared out until adequate rainfall occurs. Additional crews were demobilized on Sunday afternoon. 

Humidity increased in the area today, with some lightning reported Sunday in the Black Ridge Fire area. The Southern Ute Agency responded to a single-tree fire this morning, caused by lightning Sunday night. Rain is expected by Wednesday, with lightning forecast today and Tuesday. 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Black Ridge Fire 70 percent contained

The 78-acre Black Ridge Fire is 70% contained this morning. Humidity recovery on Thursday evening helped slow fire activity. Crews have laid dozer and hand lines on the perimeter and are reinforcing those lines today to 100 feet in from the fire's boundary.

The oil and gas close-in order has been lifted. Oil and gas crews are encouraged to enter sites as early as possible to prevent interface with fire fighting efforts and use of roads. The pre-evacuation order for nearby residents was lifted Thursday evening.

Ground crews today will apply water to secure fire lines. One Type 1 and one Type 3 helicopter are available as needed to support crews efforts. Approximately 70 personnel are working on the Black Ridge Fire.   

Temperatures from 87-97 degrees are expected today, with single-digit relative humidity and wind gusts up to 25 mph after 1200. 

Saturday's forecast shows critical fire conditions, with high temperatures and winds expected. Dry lightning is expected on Sunday and Monday. An initial attack force will be on scene to respond to predicted lightning.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Blackridge Fire Pre-evacuation order lifted

The Black Ridge fire is at 40% containment. A fire investigator has confirmed that this fire was started by a holdover lightning strike from storms during the last week in June. 
The pre-evacuation order for nearby residents has been lifted.  Ground and air fire crews will work to further contain the fire on Friday. Oil and gas crews are encouraged to enter sites that were closed Thursday as early as possible on Friday to prevent interface with fire-fighting efforts and use of roads.

Blackridge Fire 40 percent contained

The Blackridge Fire is 40 percent contained as of 2:30 p.m., with flare-ups within the fire perimeter. Helicopter water drops from the Animas River are addressing flareups. Current weather conditions show winds out of the south-southwest at 10.3 mph and relative humidity is 8%.

Dozer and hand crews continue work to establish fire line around the fire's perimeter and a 5,000 county water tank is staged nearby to support crews.

Sign up to receive updates on the Blackridge Fire and other emergencies via the CodeRED emergency notification system

Blackridge Fire update: Crews focus on southwest border

10:10 a.m., July 14: The Blackridge Fire off of County Road 213 south of High Flume Canyon is 20 percent contained this morning, with crews from Bureau of Indian Affairs Southern Ute Agency Fire Management, Durango Fire, and Los Pinos Fire on scene: hand crews, dozer and air support as well as a 5,000-gallon county water tank staged nearby. No structures are currently threatened, and oil & gas resources are protected.

Crews will focus on the southern and southwestern border of the fire this morning. There are 50 personnel on scene, with an additional crew of 20 arriving this morning. blackridge fire map

UPDATE: 8:15 p.m., July 13: Fire crews have applied retardant around the majority of the Blackridge Fire, which began at 3 p.m. Wednesday, July 13 in southern La Plata County off of County Road 213 south of High Flume Canyon. The fire grew to approximately 50 acres by 5:05 p.m. By 7:35 p.m., Richard Gustafson, Bureau of Indian Affairs Southern Ute Agency Fire Management Officer was confident that residents are safe to remain in their homes. The area, which encompasses 304 structures, will remain on pre-evacuation notice until further notice.

The fire is laying down as relative humidity is increasing in the area. Air crews dropped retardant around 80 percent of the perimeter of the fire and the fire has burned into the 2005 Black Ridge fire burn scar. Crews will remain on scene throughout the night.

One Type 1 and one Type 3 Helicopters and one Heavy Air Tanker will be on scene tomorrow.  Dozers and hand crews will also be on scene tomorrow.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Get Animas River Alerts On Your Phone and InBox

We have added Animas River Alerts the CodeRED Emergency Alert System!
La Plata County Emergency Management is working with San Juan Basin Health, Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM), San Juan County, City of Durango, Southern Ute Indian Tribe and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), and others on an alerting plan for the Animas River and its users. 
The alerts will inform the public when something of concern is noticed in the quality of the water in the river. Strange color, hazardous spills and heavy sediment will be investigated for impacts and you get notified. Every incident noted (even when you aren't notified) will have a report posted to the CDPHE Animas River website. 
Also, CDPHE is working with the USGS to place some real time water quality sensors on existing river flow gauges. The gauge above Silverton on Cement Creek, the gauge below Silverton at the mouth of the Upper Animas Canyon, and the one in Durango near the walking bridge behind River City Hall are all slated for the upgrades in the coming weeks. Plans are for adding pH, Temp, Conductivity and Turbidity. Those sensors combined can give a picture of water quality based on metals and minerals. 
We will use data collected from these gauges and sensors to monitor changes in the river chemistry and let you know when something has a potential impact. 
These sensors are already on gauges in NM and UT. Check them out at Colorado Gauges will be there soon!
How Do You Get The Alerts?
Follow the link below to sign up for CodeRED. If you have a land line phone you are already getting emergency alerts, but not the Animas alerts. By making a profile you can add your cell phone and internet phone, email, or get text for "Emergency Alerts" and can opt-in for non-emergency "General Alerts". To get the Animas River specific alerts, be sure to check the box for "Animas River Information" If you already have a profile, log in and add it to your personalized alerts.
Any river user is encouraged to sign up; Rafters, tubers, swimmers, ditch managers, ditch users, individuals and businesses. You don't need to live in the area to get these alerts. 
More details of the plan will be posted as they are finalized 
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