Actions

Gov. Hickenlooper tours command centers Friday as Colorado wildfires continue to burn

Posted: 8:03 AM, Jul 06, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-07 03:25:23Z
Hickenlooper to take fire tour Friday
Hickenlooper to take fire tour Friday

DENVER – Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is getting a first-hand look at firefighting efforts as he tours two wildfire command centers on Friday.

Hickenlooper is scheduled to visit the command centers set up for the Spring Fire in southern Colorado and the Lake Christine Fire in Pitkin County.

Those two fires remain major priorities for firefighters as hot, dry conditions persist across the state. The Spring Fire, which was over 105,000 acres as of Friday morning, is the third-larges fire the state has ever seen.

The Lake Christine Fire was about 5,200 acres as of Thursday and fire officials said no containment has yet been established.

MAP: Here are the major wildfires currently burning in Colorado

Here’s the latest on some of the major fires currently burning:

Spring Fire

Location: 5 miles E of Ft. Garland
Size: 105,704
Containment: 35 percent

The Spring Fire east of Fort Garland has forced the evacuation of more than 2,000 homes since last Wednesday. Officials said 132 homes have been destroyed so far during a community meeting in La Veta. More than 1,000 personnel are currently working on the blaze.

Highway 160 remains closed due to fire activity. Highway 12 is also closed in the Cuchara Valley area due to mandatory evacuations.

For a current list of evacuations in Huerfano County please visit the Huerfano County Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/HuerfanoCountyOEM . For evacuations in Costilla County visit the San Luis Valley Emergency page at slvemergency.org for a current evacuation map.

Anyone with further questions about the Spring Fire can call a hotline set up at 719-480-8719.

Lake Christine Fire

Location: Near Basalt
Size: 5,263 acres
Containment: 0 percent

The Lake Christine Fire started on Tuesday near Basalt and has quickly grown in size, prompting officials to order mandatory evacuations for some residents near the fire. On Friday, official lifted evacuations for residents in the Missouri Heights area but other evacuation orders remained in place. The latest evacuation information is posted on the Eagle County Sheriff’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/EagleCountySO .

The evacuation center, initially set up at Basalt High School and then Roaring Fork High School, was moved back to Basalt High School Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. to consolidate the evacuated residents, according to a Tweet from Eagle County Sheriff's Office . RFTA will provide buses between the schools at 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. 

On Thursday morning, officials said the fire grew significantly on Wednesday and destroyed three homes. 

Late Wednesday, the White River National Forest issued an emergency closure order for all National Forest Lands north of Basalt State Wildfire Area between the National Forest Boundary and Bowers Gulch to the west, and southwest of Red Table Mountain and Frenchman Creek to the east.

The closure area includes Basalt Mountain, the Cattle Creek area (including all of the single-track trails within the Cattle Creek Area), Sawmill Gulch area, the Seven Castles area including Otto Creek and Downey Creek, and all hiking, biking and motorcycle trails between Basalt Mountain and Cottonwood Pass.

On Friday morning, Garfield County Sheriff's Office announced that the evacuation had been lifted for Garfield County residents in the Missouri Heights area. 

The fire is burning west of the Basalt gun range in Eagle County. The Eagle County Sheriff's Office tweeted that there were multiple crews on scene with air support.

Officials said the fire was caused by two people shooting tracer rounds, which were prohibited under fire restrictions in place at the time, at the Basalt shooting range. Both people have been charged with fourth-degree arson. 

Amber Barrett, with the Eagle County Sheriff's Office, told Denver7 Thursday evening they expected more charges for the pair depending on the costs of the firefighting efforts to put out the blaze. The couple could be potentially responsible for restitution for the firefighting effort for up to $1 million, Barrett said. 

The Denver Fire Department said Friday it had sent eight firefighters and 2 Engines to the Lake Christine Fire. 

High Chateau Fire

Location: NW of Cripple Creek
Size: 1,423 acres
Containment: 95 percent percent

Weston Pass Fire

Location: 9 miles SW of Fairplay
Size: 12,902 acres
Containment: 17 percent

Fire officials say a tornado moved across the fire area at around 1:45 p.m. Thursday. No injuries were reported. 

A closure is in place one mile south of Fairplay at the junction of US Highway 285/State Highway 9 to all traffic, except local residents or landowners. A total closure is in place from the junction of US Highway 285/County Road 22 to Antero Junction.

The cause of the Weston Pass Fire was lightning, officials said. 

Sugarloaf Fire

Location: 13 miles SW of Fraser
Size: 1,245 acres
Containment: 0 percent

This fire started June 28 from a lightning strike near the South Fork of Darling Creek, just south of Byers Peak Wilderness. It is part of the "big kill" area that devastated pine forests a couple decades ago. The dead trees still standing present dangerous conditions. The fire is not immediately threatening homes or businesses. 

Divide Fire

Location: Approximately 32 miles northwest of Craig
Size: 11,930 acres
Containment: 10 percent

After several days with little activity, the Divide Fire flared up Wednesday at 3 p.m., making a push to the northeast. 

One structure was lost on Wednesday, although firefighters were able to protect several other structures. An additional structure was destroyed by the fire June 29. The fire has burned a combination of private and Bureau of Land Management lands 32 miles northwest of Craig. 

The cause of the Divide Fire, which was first reported June 29, remains under investigation, including the increase in activity from Wednesday.

416 Fire

Location: 13 miles N of Durango
Size: 54,129 acres
Containment: 45 percent

Fire officials have issued pre-evacuation notices for 317 homes along County Roads 203 and 205 due to the 416 Fire due to potential flooding and debris flow over the coming days. 

The pre-evacuation notice includes Falls Creek Ranch and High Meadows subdivisions, Durango Regency, the Sanctuary, Hermosa Circle, and residences in the Tripp Creek area. 

Burro Fire

Location: 14 miles S of Rico
Size: 4,593 acres
Containment: 40 percent


Note: This map and the data contained within are maintained by The Colorado State Emergency Operations Center and some information may be delayed. Check with your local fire district for the most updated information.