Warning Alert

Wildfires: Officials continue working to contain the Pine Gulch Fire near Grand Junction, Colo., US, on Aug. 22. Evacuations and disruptions ongoing.

  • Alert Begins: 22 Aug 2020 02:17 PM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 27 Aug 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: Wildfire
  • Location(s): Mesa and Garfield counties, Colo., US (map)
  • Start Time/Date: July 31
  • Impact: Evacuations, ground transport disruptions; possible power outages

 

Summary

Crews are working to contain a wildfire, known as Pine Gulch Fire, in Garfield and Mesa counties, Colorado, as of Aug. 22. The fire is located approximately 29 km (18 miles) north of Grand Junction and has been burning since July 31. As of around 0230 Aug. 22, the blaze was approximately 50,663 hectares (125,191 acres) in size and 19-percent contained. The fire is threatening several structures. Authorities have not provided an estimated containment date. Forecast models indicate hot and dry conditions will persist over the coming days, which may impede containment efforts.

Evacuations
Authorities in Garfield County have issued mandatory evacuation orders for residents in the following locations:

 

  • Mesa County line north to the east/west Colorado Highway 256

 

  • From Highway 139 Douglas Pass road east to Carr Creek Road

 

  • Colorado Highway 205

 

  • Kimball Creek Road

 

  • Colorado Highway 258/King Road

 

  • Roan Creek Road

 

  • Bush Creek Road

 

  • Clear Creek Road

 


Authorities could expand mandatory evacuation orders depending on evolving wildfire conditions.

Transport
The wildfire has caused some localized transport disruptions in the affected area. Colorado Highway 139 is closed north of Loma.

The status of nearby roads could change over the coming hours and days; authorities could close additional routes within the impacted area and evacuate more communities due to fire activity and the needs of response operators. Traffic flows could also be disrupted during re-entry periods after authorities lift evacuation orders. Low visibility from smoke and possible ashfall could contribute to traffic delays and congestion in the region.

 

Advice

Heed all evacuation orders. Seek updated information on road conditions if driving in the affected area; road closures and detours will cause increased congestion and delays. Individuals not under evacuation warnings should consider remaining inside well-ventilated, air-conditioned spaces to reduce exposure to smoke. Collect essential items - including identification and any important legal and travel documents - in a "go-bag" that can be easily accessed. Charge battery-powered devices in the case of prolonged power outages.