Pine Gulch Fire grows to nearly 24,000 acres in western Colorado

Fire officials said if winds and slope align at the fire Sunday, there is a possibility for extreme fire behavior again

Pine Gulch Fire map
3-D map of the Pine Gulch Fire looking north. The red line was the fire perimeter at 8:08 p.m. MDT August 8, 2020. The white line was the perimeter three days before.

The Pine Gulch Fire 15 miles north of Grand Junction and 19 miles west of Parachute, Colorado has been very active for the last three days, spreading to the west, southeast, and especially to the north (see map below). The growth on August 7 was described as explosive, and at 7 a.m. Sunday morning a large smoke column was forming, which is unusual for that time of day. The fire has burned 23,882 acres.

Smoke from the fire has been moving into eastern Colorado and other states to the east and northeast.

Pine Gulch Fire
The Pine Gulch Fire at 7 a.m. MDT August 9, 2020 as seen from the Incident Command Post. InciWeb.

(To see all articles on Wildfire Today about the Pine Gulch Fire, including the most recent, click HERE.)

From the Incident Management Team Sunday morning at 10 MDT:

Humidity recovery was poor again overnight. Humidity will decrease through the day [Sunday] with an expected minimum relative humidity as low as 8%. Temperatures are expected to be 85-88 degrees. Winds out of the southwest are again expected to pick up to 15 mph through the day. If winds and slope align over the fire, there is a possibility for extreme fire behavior again today.

Pine Gulch Fire
Shot from Colorado National Monument August 7, 2020 about 15 miles Southwest of the Pine Gulch Fire. The view is looking towards the northeast and shows some of the explosive activity on the northern front Friday and the huge smoke plume extending to the east. Photo by Jennifer Deering.

Garfield County issued an evacuation order for residences on CR 202 and a pre-evacuation order for all residences on county roads 204, 207, 209, and Clear Creek Road. For more information on evacuation orders, visit https://garfieldcounty.net/.

Pine Gulch Fire map
Map of the Pine Gulch Fire. The red line was the fire perimeter at 8:08 p.m. MDT August 8, 2020. The white line was the perimeter three days before.

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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. Google+

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