Evacuation orders lifted except for those in the Wildcat Drainage; Simms Mesa wildfire shows no growth

Evacuations remain in place, and the fire has not grown since yesterday evening.
Published: May. 19, 2022 at 6:02 PM MDT|Updated: May. 20, 2022 at 10:28 AM MDT
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MONTROSE COUNTY, Colo. (KKCO) - UPDATE: According to the Montrose County Sheriff’s Office, evacuation orders have been lifted for Simms Fire for all residents, except those along the Wildcat Drainage area.

The U.S. Forest Service’s latest update states firefighters were able to make progress toward containment with the help of air support. As well as the weather, which brought snow, and the fire’s travel into a previous Bureau of Land Management prescribed fire treatment, the intensity of the fire and progression decelerated.

UPDATE May 20: The Simms Mesa wildfire is being aggressively suppressed, and overnight firefighters were able to successfully construct fire lines overnight. Suppression has thus far been successful, with no overnight growth of the fire perimeter. Air tankers and helicopters have been used to drop fire retardant and water on the fire.

ALL EVACUATION ORDERS ARE STILL IN EFFECT. If you have been evacuated, a Red Cross evacuation center has been established at the Ridgeway Secondary School, 1200 Green St. in Ridgeway, Colorado.

A cold front moving into the I-70 corridor will be traveling southward during the early hours of Friday morning, bringing cooler air and moisture towards the fire. Southwest wind gusts of 15 to 25 miles per hour are possible, and northwestern winds are expected. Persistent cloud cover may bring precipitation.

UPDATE May 19: The Montrose County Sheriff’s Office prompted evacuation notices around 6:30 p.m. for residents living between Simms Mesa Rd. Government Springs Rd., and Wild Cat Canyon due to a wildfire.

According to U.S. Forest Service, the evacuation area extends five miles beyond the fire’s estimated point of origin, approximately 15 miles southwest of Montrose.

Currently, the fire is estimated to be 370 acres in size and 0% contained.

Structures in the area are threatened.

The organization states the “Simms Fire” was reported in the Ouray Ranger District of the Uncompahgre National Forest and is burning in Pinyon-Juniper.

It is reported that a prescribed burn was conducted in the area earlier this week, which was monitored daily.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

INITIAL ARTICLE: A wildfire has broken out on the Uncompahgre Plateau. The cause and the exact location are still unknown.

According to the Ouray County Sheriff’s Office, agencies are responding at this time.

Authorities ask people to stay away from the area and not call 911. Individuals living on Simms Mesa are advised to stand by for a potential evacuation in the area.

Current information is scarce, but additional information will be added to this page as it is released.

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