Friday, June 21, 2013

West Fork Fire complex and Windy Pass Fire (6/22/2013-7:30am)

Here's an informal update on current fires around the Wolf Creek Pass and the Alberta Park watershed area.
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Friday June 21, 2013  3:00 MDT

West Fork Complex Fire Balloons To Nearly 30,000 Acres, Threatening Town Of South Fork
The entire town of South Fork is now under a mandatory evacuation order. Highway 149 between Creede and South Fork closed at 9 a.m. according to State Patrol. 

Updated: Fri 11:52 AM, Jun 21, 2013 
The fires are immediately threatening the entire town of South Fork, which about 50 miles southwest of Alamosa. A fire spokesperson, Penny Bertram, told the Associated Press there is a significant chance that the fire could destroy the town. Wildland and local firefighters have teamed up to try to save the town. 
The West Fork Fire was started by a lightning strike in the San Juan National Forest backcountry on June 5. It has ballooned to almost 30,000 acres Friday on the west side of Wolf Creek Pass. It's burning on rugged terrain, making firefighting efforts difficult. It's also reportedly actively burning 12 hours a day--while the average fire generally burns four.
A fire behavior analyst told Archuleta County Emergency Management that fire behavior Thursday was "so extreme, it was undocumented and unprecedented." 

For a map of the West Fork Fire see:

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About 400 South Fork residents evacuate as 30,000-acre fire nears


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(6/22/2013 - 7:30 am)
As of Saturday morning the fire is still three miles outside of the town of South Fork. There has been a massive build up of fire fighters and equipment doing all they can to keep it out of town.  The weather today holds the key.
 West Fork Fire 40,000 Acres; Threatens South Fork 
By: KKTV  -  Updated: Sat 7:05 AM, Jun 22, 2013
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West Fork Complex Fire Continues To Grow, Threatening South Fork 
By: KKTV  -  Updated: Sat 3:08 PM, Jun 22, 2013

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And now we have a new fire, the "Windy Pass Fire" which happens to be on the other side of the mountain (or in this case, the Great Divide) from Wolf Creek Ski Area and Alberta Park.  Here's a map

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Durango Herald article with short video of fire as it nears Wolf Creek Ski Area:

Wolf Creek Pass closed
Evacuations ordered ahead of extreme fire
By Shane Benjamin Herald staff writer
Article Last Updated: Friday, June 21, 2013 12:00am

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Also see the Forest Service's Active Fire Maps, {although Colorado Fire Maps seems more informative and easier to navigate.}.

USFS - Active Fire Mapping Program:

National Interagency Fire Information page:

Archuleta County Emergency Information

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