UPDATE: Pine Ridge fire cost nears exceeds 1.5 million

DEBEQUE, Colo. (KKCO) Weather: Predicted winds prevailed Sunday afternoon, sustaining between 10 to 15 miles per hour, and gusting to 27 miles per hour. Also, the fire area experienced very hot and dry conditions. On Sunday night, crews dealt with poor humidity recovery from daytime dryness, but temperatures were cooler and winds were light.

Current Situation: Good progress was made on the northeast and east flanks of the fire Sunday. Both areas are in patrol status; however, the south flank of the fire still remains hot. Helicopters were utilized to drop buckets of water to douse smokes and cool hot spots in the south area of the fire. Firing operations were successful (a tactic used to strengthen fire line) which did result in an increase in acreage.

Sunday night activity: Engine crews were used Sunday night to patrol the Colorado River and I-70 corridor to prevent the establishment of spot fires across the river. Crews also remained vigilant for hot spots in the northern portion of the fire where firing operations took place.

Evacuations and Public Safety: Mesa County Sheriff’s office wants residents in many parts of eastern Mesa County to remember a pre-evacuation order is still in effect and they encourage residents to remain vigilant and ready to leave again. Mesa County residents can register for the Emergency Notification through the City of Grand Junction website at: www.gjcity.org. This will allow 911 operators to notify residents by land line and cell phone of emergencies or evacuation orders being reinstated.

Also, 1-70 is currently open but travelers should be aware that road closures could be implemented if fire activity warrants.

Smoke Management: Smoke affects each of us differently. Sensitive people (elderly, young children and those with heart or lung disease) may be less tolerant of light to moderate smoke. Heavier periods of smoke can impact even healthy individuals and may cause eye, nose and throat irritation, coughing and headaches. During such times stay indoors and avoid outdoor activities. Spend time in an area of clean air. Seek medical assistance if someone you know is experiencing unexpected fatigue, headaches, confusion, or breathing problems.

Fire Statistics

Location: 13 miles east of Grand Junction, CO in the Bookcliffs Start Date: June 27, 2012
Size: 13,360 acres
Percent Contained: 35
Cause: Lightning
Total Personnel: 422
Cost: $1,646,167
Resources Include: 3 Type 1 hand crews, 5 Type 2 hand crews, 38 engines, 3 water tenders, and overhead personnel
Air Resources: 6 helicopters, 1 Skycrane, 4 heavy air tankers and fixed wing support.


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