Updated August 10, 2020 | 10:44 p.m. MDT
Two Incident Management Teams have been ordered for the Grizzly Creek Fire on Interstate 70 two miles east of Glenwood Springs, Colorado. The Rocky Mountain Area Type 2 Blue Team with Incident Commander Michael Haydon will be the first of the two to assume command. A higher qualified Type 1 Rocky Basin Team led by Incident Commander Marty Adell has also been ordered to at some point take over from the Type 2 team. The Type 1 team will in-brief August 12 at 8 a.m. in Gypsum, Colorado. After a briefing, teams usually require a period of transition with the previous organization before they actually assume command.
It is not common to order both types of teams at the same time. Usually there is a progression from one to the other if a fire increases in size and complexity. This most likely indicates that the extreme fire behavior seen on the Grizzly Creek Fire and perhaps its proximity to structures led fire managers to believe it has the potential to become a very significant, complex incident.
The Colorado Department of Transportation announced that Interstate 70 will remain closed through Monday night.
When the fire started Monday afternoon a nearby weather station recorded a high temperature of 93 degrees, single-digit relative humidity, and 5 to 16 mph winds out of the southwest gusting at 20 to 30 mph — conditions very conducive to rapid fire spread.
A spot weather forecast for the fire predicts for Monday night a maximum humidity of 37 to 42 percent and west winds 5 to 10 mph through 9 p.m., then becoming downslope/downvalley 3 to 6 mph overnight. For Tuesday, 90 degrees, 5 to 10 percent humidity, and downslope/downvalley 3 to 6 mph winds through mid-morning shifting to come out of the west at 10 to 15 mph with gusts to around 20 mph in the afternoon.
August 10, 2020 | 6:52 p.m. MDT
A new wildfire in Colorado has forced the closure of Interstate 70. The Grizzly Creek Fire was reported in the early afternoon Monday. At 3 p.m. firefighting aircraft either on scene or en route included two Very Large Air Tanker (DC-10s), five large air tankers, five helicopters, and two Single Engine Air Tankers.
At 5 p.m. MDT the Rocky Mountain Coordination Centers said it had burned approximately 1,400 acres.
Some of the air tankers were reloading with retardant at the new air tanker base at Colorado Springs.
We will update this article as more information becomes available.