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UPDATE: WFCF holds steady

Modified: Monday, Jun 24th, 2013

Rocky Mountain Type 1 Incident Management Team Incident Commander Pete Blume. Sunday's sunset.

DEL NORTE — It was a good day.

Sunday evening during the West Fork Complex Fire (WFCF) briefing, Rocky Mountain Type 1 Incident Management Team Incident Commander Pete Blume said the fire had not made any perimeter advances despite the 15,000 foot plume of smoke that hovered over the San Juan Mountains, and its close proximity to the town of South Fork.

The fire has burned roughly 73,000 acres and has cost about $2.2 million, he reported.

"It was one more day to get an edge and to work on the ground," Blume said about the inner island that burned to create the massive feather like cloud.

Progress also included further efforts to secure the South Fork area, which still does not have any structural damage, he said. Such incidents have yet to be confirmed anywhere within the burn.

Winds are expected to blow again tomorrow, making Tuesday the first day the fire might lose a bit of gusto, allowing the firefighting crews to back off their defensive position. Blume said the plan of attack was still in evaluation stages, establishing anchor points and points on the ground including high value resources.

The Type 1 team is also focusing on identifying points they can use as natural barriers and fire breaks to prevent the WFCF from spreading, he said. The goal is to shift its movement north and away from the town of South Fork.

Aerial forces include helicopters dropping retardant for point protection and to cool advances, he said. Air support resources are readily available to bring in if deemed appropriate.

"Everything we ask for we are likely to get," Blume said. "You can't ask to be in a better position when you are trying to put out a fire."

In regards to human resources, about 500 people worked the fire today, 80 of which were volunteers from other fire departments in the state, he said.

See today's earlier report for more information on the WFCF.

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