The Papoose Fire as photographed last week
Courier photo by Lauren Krizansky
VALLEY — On the one-month anniversary of what has grown into the West Fork Fire Complex, firefighters deemed the fire 20 percent contained, with minimal fire growth.
Recent moisture has aided firefighters battling to contain the West Fork Fire Complex, instigated by lightning on June 5, but the Papoose Fire has not seen the same moisture. This has caused continued drying of vegetation.
With increased wind in the afternoons, the potential for the Papoose Fire spreading and spotting is high daily, according to the incident report posted on Friday. Firefighters continue to mop up around structures and chipping vegetation that will cause any increased fire hazard.
Helicopters are assisting firefighters in keeping any hot areas of the fire from spreading. The fire continues to be active in the northwest, near the Rio Grande Reservoir and along Highway 149. Burn out operations along some of the meadows near Highway 149 was planned on Friday, which would allow firefighters the opportunity to even out the fire line and achieve confinement.
On the eastern part of West Fork Fire, firefighters continue chipping operations around homes where limbs and brush were cleared so fire hazard is reduced. Firefighters will continue fireline construction through the Elk Mountain area and monitor areas along Highway 160 where fire remains active.
On the west zone of the West Fork Fire there was very little activity on the evening of July 4. Structure protection is still in place for the Wolf Creek Ski Area, Borns Lake Cabins, and Bruce Spruce Resort. The West Fork Campground is open.
Monitoring by air continues on the Windy Pass Fire.
Fire Statistics on July 5:
Location: 14.5 miles north/northeast of Pagosa Springs
Start Date: 06/05/2013
Complex Size: 110,028 acres
Percent Contained: 20 percent
Windy Pass: 1,417 acres
Papoose: 48,652 acres
Total Personnel: 1,169
West Fork: 59,959 acres
Resources Include: 7 Type 1 hand crews, 11 Type 2 hand crews, 56 engines, 2 dozers, 17 water tenders, and overhead personnel
Air Resources: 6 Type 1 helicopters, 1 Type 2 helicopters, and 5 Type 3 helicopters.
Places to get information:
Information Boards: Information is posted at the Pagosa Springs Visitor Information Center, Freemon’s Ranch near Creede, the Forest Service office in Creede, and at the Del Norte High School.