Spring Creek Fire spreads closer to highway 12

(UPDATED at 8 p.m. MDT July 2, 2018)

Map Spring Creek Fire
The Spring Creek Fire showing updates from 9:13 p.m. MDT June 1, and from 2:01 p.m. MDT July 2, 2018. Click to enlarge.

A brief update on the Spring Creek Fire burning 17 miles west of Walsenburg, Colorado. Monday afternoon at 2:01 a satellite detected active fire on the north side of Mt. Maestas. At that time the fire had not made it down to the flatter terrain on the north side but it may have by sundown. There was also activity on the southeast side during the satellite overflight.

Portions of several highways are closed, including 69, 160, and 12.

Closed Roads
Closed Roads. July 2, 2018. Colorado DOT.

(Updated at 12:27 p.m. MDT July 2, 2018)

On Sunday and Sunday night the Spring Creek Fire east of Fort Garland, Colorado spread closer to Highway 12, coming to within two miles in some places.

According to the Incident Management Team the fire has burned 56,820 acres with most of that being on private land. Approximately 2,878 structures are threatened but so far none have been destroyed.

Tuesday morning the management of the fire will be spilt with two Rocky Mountain Type 2 IMTs. The Blue Team will take the portion of the fire north of Highway 160.

CLICK HERE to see all of the articles on Wildfire Today about the Spring Creek Fire.

The IMT is concerned about outflow winds from passing thunderstorms Monday which could push the fire in any direction. The fire should become active before noon, and could be very active throughout the afternoon.

On the east side of the fire, growth has slowed somewhat as the fire moves into lighter fuels. Indirect contingency lines are being constructed, anchoring to the 421 road and Highway 12, with the goal of keeping the fire west of La Veta.

Below is more information from the IMT:

“On the south side in Division K, the fire has moved south of East Indian Creek and is progressing over the ridges of Raspberry Mountain, continuing downslope through heavy fuels. While this type of “backing” behavior (downhill growth), does not move as quickly as fire running up hill, the fire is expected to continue moving south/southwest toward Cuchara Village. The geography between Raspberry Mountain and the communities of Pinehaven and Cuchara Village is extremely challenging with significant beetle kill fuel, rough terrain and narrow canyons. This is a difficult area to place firefighters, as there are minimal escape routes should fire intensity change. As fire continues to push south, crews are constructing indirect line around the communities of Pinehaven and Cuchara Village and will prepare structures in this area in the event of fire spread. Expect to see large smoke columns in this area today.

“The fire is growing to the south-southwest in Divisions N and Z, pushing toward West Indian Creek. Crews are successfully implementing point protection for houses in the South Forbes community. Firefighters are scouting for opportunities to create indirect line to keep the fire north of West Indian Creek. On the southeast side of the fire, crews are working to construct fireline off Mallott Rd, moving from Division A south and east into Divisions Z and N to keep fire east of Trinchera.

“The west and northwest sides of the fire in Divisions A and D continue to hold. The 5% containment is along the northwest perimeter in Division D. Crews are scouting for options for more indirect line running from the ridges back into Highway 160.

“There is now a portable fire retardant plant east of La Veta. Aircraft will drop retardant on areas where its effects will be successful. Air tankers are in use, and the Spring Fire now has two National Guard Blackhawk helicopters participating in air operations along with currently assigned resources.”

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. Google+

13 thoughts on “Spring Creek Fire spreads closer to highway 12”

  1. Many homes have been lost in the Spring Fire. There are no official numbers but I am personally affected by this fire and I have friends who have lost their homes.

    1. Is this Cathy Amato?
      You are more accurate than the news we can get to date.
      Have areas of homes been destroyed or is it isolated situations?
      Would appreciate your being more specific if you can and have the energy.
      Thinking of all of you. Jack and Susan Risen

      1. One hundred four homes have been lost on the Forbes Park side. I think somewhere around 60+ were not burned. I live on the La Veta side and while I have no numbers there are homes that have been destroyed on this side (possibly including my own). They just released new numbers on acres burned – 60,710 and it is extremely active. They also just announced another large mandatory evacuation including School Creek, Little Kansas, Wayatoya Valley, and the Mesa.
        They are very concerned about Pinehaven and Cuchara.
        And no, I am not Cathy Amato – although I have met her 😉
        My name is Cathy Edens

        1. Thanks, Cathy. Please continue to post as you have new or updated information.
          Our home is on Hwy 12 at the Dakota Wall about 2 miles north of Cuchara toward LaVeta.
          The fire is massive and getting detailed news is almost impossible. Your insight is welcomed.

  2. I pray for all of you, and for rain, lots of rain. My family history ( 6 generations) includes a lifetime of going up highway 12 to fish, picnic and stand in awe of nature. My only thoughts with this beast of a fire, that are nagging at me? That no human life should be extinguished to save property. Our forests there are so old, with so much dead wood and brush, that Mother Nature really is trying to clean her house, even though it was caused by that dork from Denmark. So, that said, stay safe.

  3. Our home is on Hwy 12 as well. We are four miles south of town – Cuchara River Estates on Raspberry Mountain but we are not behind the gates – our driveway is off of Hwy 12. We may have lost our home last night or it is very, very close. We know houses are burning behind us and the fire (as of last night) was at Hwy 12 right around Devil’s Stairstep. That is what prompted all the evacuations last night for School Creek, the Mesa, little Kansas and the Wahatoya valley. Do you have a Facebook page? I could send you some good links.
    There is a man who runs a cabin rental place in Cuchara – he is posting some excellent updates. Good luck to us all. ?

    1. My parents had a home near Devil’s staircase in the 60’s and 70’s. Lewis Cummings. He was a forest ranger in the 40’s and 50’s in La Veta. I guess it must have burned. It was down in the valley east of Albrights ranch. Did That ranch burn.

  4. Cathy:
    You have a beautiful location. I hope your home is safe. Not knowing is difficult.
    I wonder if firefighters are using pump trucks to
    You mentioned a cabin rental person who is posting – can you provide any more detail?
    Many thanks, Greg Allen

  5. Cuchara cabins and condo rentals is the name of his Facebook page.
    There have been no updates for the South Spring Fire – the South Fire impacts us. I do not take that as a good sign.
    These stats are taken from the North Spring Fire update which have already been released.
    78,944 acres – officially.
    715 firefighters.
    5% containment – all on the Forbes Park side – where the fire started.
    Still rapidly growing for us.

    1. Hi – never have & never will do fakebook ! Is there a ‘regular’ web site to view Cuchara/Pinehavenstatus v? Thanks . . . .

  6. Thanks, again. We expect to lose our home as well. My hope is that a nearby fire truck may provide some help. That seems our only hope short of a change in wind direction, or a passing rain. I expect we will meet one day in Cuchara. You may know my mom, Johnye Voiles. /Greg Allen.

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