Cherry Canyon Fire in southeast Colorado grows to nearly 12,000 acres

The wildfire is 58 miles east-northeast of Trinidad

Cherry Canyon Fire Colorado
Cherry Canyon Fire, courtesy of Colorado Fire Prevention & Control

(UPDATED at 11:43 p.m. MDT May 24, 2020)

Strong winds and extremely low humidity on Saturday caused the Cherry Canyon Fire, 13 miles north of Kim, Colorado, to spread to the northwest crossing County Road 193.5 west of Highway 109. Colorado Fire Prevention & Control said Saturday evening that the fire was mapped at 11,818 acres at 5 p.m.

In a five-hour period Saturday morning the humidity dropped from 92 to 8 percent while the southwest wind was blowing at 3 to 8 mph gusting to 31, according to records from a portable weather station installed near the fire. Spread of the fire slowed Saturday night and by 7:45 Sunday morning the humidity had risen to 69 percent. Rain began falling after 4 p.m., with 0.15 inches accumulating by 11 p.m.

Below is an excerpt from a news release by Colorado Fire Prevention & Control:

Firefighters camped out on the West side of the fire last night and completed a large portion of work in the accessible terrain and will continue to monitor the inaccessible areas. Firefighters on the East side of the fire were not able to conduct burnout operations last night due to unfavorable conditions, but worked in that region today to tie in the large slopover/run from yesterday afternoon.

Additionally, while there are few structures at risk from this fire, other values, such as grazing land, water, and livestock, are very important in this region. Allowing the fire to continue to burn eliminates feed for cattle, exposes steep slopes to be susceptible to erosion, and causes health concerns from the increased smoke.  As is normal in every wildfire, a risk-benefit analysis is conducted before actions are initiated; from this discussion, it was determined that rather than smoking out communities, removing grazing land for cattle and impacting communities with restrictions on travel/road closures, it is better to suppress the fire.

Cherry Canyon Fire Colorado map

Cherry Canyon Fire Colorado map
Map showing heat on the Cherry Canyon Fire detected by satellites. Heat was sensed somewhere within each of the circles. The actual perimeter is slightly smaller than the white line seen on the map. All locations are approximate.

(UPDATED at 11:28 a.m. MDT May 23, 2020)

Cherry Canyon Fire wildfire Colorado
Cherry Canyon Fire, courtesy of Colorado Fire Prevention & Control

In an update Friday at 5:40 p.m. MDT the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control said the lightning-caused Cherry Canyon Fire had burned 9,602 acres. A Type 3 Incident Management Team led by Phil Daniels is assigned.

(To see all articles on Wildfire Today about the Cherry Canyon Fire click here)

“Safety is the number one priority and as such, strategies moving forward include maintaining firefighter and public safety by utilizing sound risk management actions and utilizing suppression activities that guide the fire into natural barriers,” the agency said in a news release. “Additionally, [we are] minimizing the potential impacts of COVID-19 through the practice of social distancing, proper personal hygiene, and regular cleaning.”

The fire is in southeast Colorado 9 miles northwest of Kim and 58 miles east-northeast of Trinidad. It was reported at 8:28 MDT on Wednesday.

Strong winds and difficult access are making fighting the fire difficult.

A Red Flag Warning  is in effect again for the fire area from noon to 8 p.m. MDT today due to gusty winds, low relative humidity, and dry fuels.

Map Vicinity Cherry Canyon Fire
Vicinity map of the Cherry Canyon Fire in southeast Colorado.
Cherry Canyon Fire wildfire Colorado map
Map of the Cherry Canyon Fire showing heat detected by satellites as late as 3:24 a.m. MDT May 23, 2020.
Cherry Canyon Fire wildfire Colorado
Helicopter 58HJ with Cañon Helitack got assigned to the Cherry Canyon Fire near Kim, Colorado shortly after it became available for the fire season. Photo by @getoutgetmoving
Cherry Canyon Fire wildfire Colorado
Cherry Canyon Fire, courtesy of Colorado Fire Prevention & Control
Cherry Canyon Fire wildfire Colorado
Cherry Canyon Fire, courtesy of Colorado Fire Prevention & Control

Cherry Canyon Fire in Colorado made an impressive run Thursday

It has burned over 7,300 acres in the southeast part of the state near Kim

Cherry Canyon Fire Colorado
Cherry Canyon Fire as seen from about 10 miles south of La Junta, Colorado. Photo by Otero County Sheriff, May 20, 2020.

(Originally published at 11:40 a.m. MDT May 22, 2020)

The Cherry Canyon Fire that was reported May 20 grew rapidly Thursday and has now burned 7,390 acres. The fire is in southeast Colorado 9 miles northwest of Kim and 58 miles east-northeast of Trinidad.

(To see all articles on Wildfire Today about the Cherry Canyon Fire, including the most recent, click here)

From the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control Friday morning:

Yesterday was the first shift for our folks on the #CherryCanyonFire near Kim, CO. The fire made an impressive 6000+ acre push yesterday due to sustained winds of around 40mph.

On Thursday it was burning in chaparral and short grass exhibiting extreme fire behavior with crowning, torching, and spotting. According to Friday morning’s Situation Report the firefighting resources assigned include 2 hand crews and 10 engines for a total of 61 personnel.

The area is under a Red Flag Warning Friday from 1 p.m. until 9 p.m. for 10 to 20 mph winds gusting to 35 mph, with relative humidity as low as 7 percent. A Fire Weather Watch is in effect Saturday afternoon and evening for similar conditions.

Map Vicinity Cherry Canyon Fire
Vicinity map of the Cherry Canyon Fire in southeast Colorado.
Map of the Cherry Canyon Fire
Map of the Cherry Canyon Fire showing heat detected by satellites as late as 2:54 a.m. MDT May 22, 2020.
Cherry Canyon Fire Colorado
Cherry Canyon Fire. Photo by Colorado Fire Prevention & Control.

Fire in southern New Jersey expected to burn 2,100 acres

The Big Timber Fire had burned 250 acres at 6 p.m. Tuesday

map Big Timber Fire New Jersey
Map showing the general location of the Big Timber Fire in southern New Jersey.

Fire officials with the New Jersey Forest Fire Service expect the Big Timber Fire in the southern part of the state to burn about 2,100 acres by the time the fire is contained within planned control lines.

The fire is 31 miles northwest of Atlantic City and 13 miles northeast of Vineland.

The fire was detected Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. by personnel in two fire lookout towers. Their azimuth readings intersected near the Blue Anchor Fire Line in the Winslow Wildlife Management Area, Winslow Township in Camden County.

The Big Timber Fire is burning in heavy brush and timber and has jumped across the Egg Harbor River. At 6 p.m. Tuesday it had burned about 250 acres.

Big Timber Fire
Big Timber Fire, May 19, 2020. ABC channel 6.

Strong gusty winds are hindering containment efforts. The forecast is for east-northeast winds to continue through Tuesday night at 13 to 17 mph with the relative humidity in the 50s. On Wednesday the winds will be about the same as the RH dips into the low 40s in the afternoon with a high temperature of 59. Cloud cover Tuesday night and on Wednesday should be 85 to 90 percent.

Residents in Baltimore and possibly Washington, DC, 90 and 115 miles away respectively, might smell the smoke Tuesday night and Wednesday.

map Big Timber Fire New Jersey
Map showing the projected containment lines within which the New Jersey Forest Fire Service intends to control the Big Timber Fire in southern New Jersey. Map produced at 5 p.m. EDT May 19, 2020.

The English Fire burns over 71,000 acres east of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan

47 kilometers east of Prince Albert

map English Fire Prince Albert Saskatchewan
The map shows the location of heat detected by a satellite on the English Fire in Saskatchewan from May 8 through 4:18 a.m. CDT on May 18.

A wildfire named “English” by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment has burned over 71,000 acres (28,800 hectares) 30 miles (47 km) east of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. GPS perimeter data was collected by the agency on May 16. The fire has been burning since May 8.

From Global News at 12:42 p.m. May 18, 2020:

The Saskatchewan government issued two wildfire alerts for communities northeast of Prince Albert on Sunday.

The alerts apply to the RM of Garden River the RM of Torch River specifically.

According to the government website the advisories were issued because of “wildfire[s] that [have] serious potential to cause emergency situations for the public.”
It said fires are burning in Fort a la Corne Forest and along the southwest edge of the Torch River area.

Residents in both rural municipalities are asked to “prepare and be ready to take action should an evacuation be required.”

The advisories say residents in Meath Park, Weirdale, Smeaton, Snowden and Shipman should close doors, windows and vents.