Colorado: East Peak Fire

(UPDATE at 8:30 a.m. MDT, June 25, 2013)

There was no major change in the East Peak Fire over the last 24 hours. Below is a Monday evening update from the Incident Management Team:

In spite of high winds, low humidity and critical fuel conditions, growth on the East Peak Fire was minimal and containment increased to 50%. The estimated size of the fire is 13,388 acres. Due to the wind, helicopters were grounded for most of the day. Despite the challenge of high winds, firefighters made progress in mop up and patrolling the fire perimeter and engine crews ensured structure protection. Mop up and patrol will continue for the overnight shift and into tomorrow. Resources continue to arrive, totaling in 631 personnel assigned to this fire.


(UPDATE at 8:25 a.m. MDT June 24, 2013)

Under overcast skies on Sunday there was not much change in the East Peak Fire. It was most active on the west and southeast sides and grew by a few hundred acres, bringing its total to about 12,800 acres.


(UPDATE at 8:55 p.m. MDT, June 23, 2013)

East Peak Fire
East Peak Fire, unknown date. Photo by Don Degman

Below is an update from the Incident Management Team at about 6:30 p.m. Sunday:

Overcast conditions set up a successful burnout operation on the East Peak Fire today. ““I’’m very pleased with the results of the burnout today. It went really smoothly”,” said Craig Beckner, Operations Section Chief. Aided by favorable winds from southeast, the burnout operation helped to reinforce control line on the southern boundary of the fire.

On the western perimeter, a very large airtanker made a retardant drop that will assist firefighters with constructing handline tomorrow in very steep terrain.

Cooler conditions and overcast skies kept the fire from gaining much acreage and is now at 12,996 acres.

Mandatory evacuations are still in effect for a large portion of the fire area. However, Huerfano County Sheriff, Bruce Newmann, started letting residents back into some closure areas.

Air Tanker 910, a DC-10, dropped 46,400 gallons of retardant on the fire today in four sorties.


(UPDATE at 8:24 a.m. MDT, June 23, 2013)

Map of East Peak Fire, 2 a.m. MDT, June 23, 2013
Map of East Peak Fire, 2 a.m. MDT, June 23, 2013

The East Peak Fire in southern Colorado grew by about 1,000 acres Saturday, bringing its total to approximately 12,000 acres. It is 11 miles southwest of Walsenburg and about 9 miles west of Aguilar.

There are an estimated 300 properties within the evacuation area. An American Red Cross shelter has been established at the John Mall High School in Walsenburg, Colorado. Evacuated animals, large or small can be taken to the Fairgrounds in La Veta, Colorado.

The Incident Management Team reports that 10 “primary” structures have burned along with 4 outbuildings.


Map of East Peak Fire
Map of East Peak Fire, showing heat detected by a satellite at 11:05 p.m. MDT, June 21, 2013. (click to see a larger version)

(UPDATE at 5:15 p.m. MDT, June 22, 2013)

The incident management team running the East Peak Fire sent this Tweet at 3:21 p.m. Saturday:


(Originally published at 9:47 a.m. MDT, June 22, 2013)

The East Peak fire has burned about 11,000 acres in the southern part of Colorado 25 miles from the New Mexico border. As you can see from the map above, at 11 p.m. Friday night it was approximately 7 miles west of Aguilar and about 10 miles southwest of Walsenburg, according to the data provided by the satellite. The location of the square icons can be as much as a mile in error.

Rocky Mountain Type 2 Incident Management Team C, with Incident Commander Jay Esperance, assumed command of the Fire at 6:00 pm, Friday, June 21.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

6 thoughts on “Colorado: East Peak Fire”

  1. It would really help if people asking about certain things being threatened would provide the location. I did a Google search and found a facility with a similar name that is in Walsenburg. As stated in the article, Walsenburg was 10 miles away at 11 p.m. Friday night. Presently, the 300 people that ARE being evacuated are being sheltered IN Walsenburg. InciWeb, when it is working, is a source for information on this fire. Here is what they have written about evacuations:

    There are an estimated 300 properties within the evacuation area. An American Red Cross shelter has been established at the John Mall High School in Walsenburg, Colorado. Evacuated animals, large or small can be taken to the Fairgrounds in La Veta, Colorado.

    Sorry, but I don’t have time to search for the other two facilities you mentioned.

  2. Any chance you could post if Spanish Peaks Regional Medical Center, VA Nursing Home and dialysis center need to be evacuated? Would really appreciate it. Thank you very much.

  3. So sorry. They are all right next to each other. I am a nurse practitioner that sees the dialysis patients there, and was just checking on their safety. I did not want to call the hospital, because I’m sure they are getting bombarded with calls re the same. I tried KOAA, but get bogged down with all the advertisements. I really liked your site. Sorry for the inconvenience.

  4. Bill – Thank you so much for a page focused on the East Peak fire. For those of us to whom this fire is of primary concern, general news updates on Colorado fires don’t always give much detail. I’m relatively new to this region, situated a few miles southwest of Trinidad, next to lands covered with dry grasses and pinon. Presumably out of the way on this fire, but neighbors and I are assessing our properties for risks and taking steps to reduce these. Your site, and links that describe what we can do to prepare ourselves are such very welcome guidance! Thank you!!

  5. Forgot to say – since I’m relatively new to this region, the map you posted is especially informative!! Thanks!

  6. Any news of Wahatoya Canyon; it looks very close to the fire. As we evacuated the Canyon the other night, we could see flames over the ridge. Hope we will not lose another cabin.

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