Pine Gulch Fire impacts De Beque residents, 5% contained

Published: Aug. 4, 2020 at 9:39 PM MDT|Updated: Aug. 5, 2020 at 1:52 PM MDT
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Smoke from the Pine Gulch Fire blocked the sunlight northwest of De Beque Tuesday. The latest report says the fire is over 9,200 acres, and a new firefighting team has been called in to help.

As firefighters gear up and helicopters fly in the distance, all that Lauren Anderson can do is watch the smoke from her property nearby.

“The ash hasn’t been terrible, this is probably the worst we have seen it so far. I’ve been keeping the kids inside a lot, it’s been pretty good during the day,” Anderson said.

She’s not currently in any danger, but clouds of smoke loom over her house.

“Our biggest concern is evacuation possibility. We’re not worried yet, but we’re prepared just in case,” Anderson said.

“Most of our values at risk right now are oil and gas (structures), those have been shut in,” said Shawna Hartman, with Rocky Mountain Incident Management.

Currently, the fire is only 5 % contained, and conditions in the Grand Valley are making it harder for firefighters to work.

“It has the ability to keep growing with our weather forecast, hot dry and windy,” Hartman said.

The Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team says a new team has arrived, meaning more personnel, equipment and aircraft. Today, there were 232 firefighters and managers combined working the fire.

“Since the fire was getting rapidly larger and moving, that why the decision was made to bring a type 2 organization in,” Hartman said.

It’s unknown how long it will take to get this fire contained but RMIM says they are prepared to be here for up to 14 days.

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