News Release

Durango Interagency Coordinating Group

DRY GULCH FIRE AREA

Current Situational Update:

Since the dry lightning storm that hit the Fort Lewis Mesa area Friday afternoon and evening on June 18, 2021, 31 separate fires have been discovered. Of those, nine are reported to be controlled/contained/out, and 10 controlled.

Currently, the largest fire is the Iron Springs Fire, 37 7.008, -108 4.506 (LAT/LON), which is 10 acres in size. Ground crews and a Type 2 helicopter have been working the fire, and spot fires, throughout the day.

No new fire starts on 6/19 and 6/20

Structures Threatened and Evacuations:

Currently, there are no structures threatened and no evacuation orders in place.

Current Apparatus

One Type Two helicopter with a Helitack crew of nine,

One Type II Interagency (IA) Crew,

Eight Type Six Engines, local and regional departments: Boulder (Left Hand), South Arkansas, Montrose, Loveland, Canon City, and Mancos

One Tender, and

70 Personnel.

Operational Directive for 6/22/21:

1) Continue with suppression efforts on Iron Springs fire, and

2) Continue to work hotspots and watch for any “holdover” fires to reignite.

Fire Conditions for 6/22/21:

Weather will continue to be hot, dry and windy. High temperatures between 85 and 95 degrees, humidity below 14% after 1200, and wind gust up to 30 MPH. A Red Flag Warning is in effect for tomorrow. Thunderstorms with dry lightning are not expected tomorrow afternoon.

Smoke is visible from the CO Hwy 140 corridor. Individuals should avoid County Road 136 and the west end of County Road 100. Smoke will be visible to the local communities. 

For information related to air quality, please go to: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/wood smoke-and-health

The public is encouraged:

1) To avoid areas with active fire and where fire operations are occurring, 

2) Slow down and use caution while driving through, and in the area of, fire operations, 

3) Continue to observe Stage 1 Fire Restriction, and

4) Understand that the current weather conditions combined with extremely low fuel moisture content greatly increase the potential for fire starts and growth – please use caution with any activity that produces heat and sparks. 

The cause of the Dry Gulch Fire Area is the result of the recent lightning storm. The Tribe is coordinating with local agencies to ensure the safety of the public and to minimize the impact of the fire. The Tribe is also working with oil and gas operators in the area to shut-in facilities in the vicinity of the fire to mitigate any potential impact from those operators to first responder’s ability to contain the fire.

As a reminder, Stage 1 fire restrictions were enacted for Southern Ute Indian Reservation on Wednesday, June 16, 2021 and will remain in effect until conditions improve.

Stage I Fire Restrictions prohibits acts for the general public, commercial operators and industrial oil and gas operators performing work on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation. 

STAGE I Fire Restrictions

General Public:

Prohibited acts:

1) OPEN BURNING. Burning of trash and/or yard waste is prohibited.

2) AGRICULTURAL BURNING. Burning of crop land, fields, rangeland, debris burning, slash piles, prescribed burning and weed burning are prohibited.

3) CAMP FIRES. Building, maintaining or using a warming fire or campfire outside of officially designated or developed camp sites is prohibited. The fire restrictions do not include charcoal fires (in suitable containers) for barbeques or fires for sweat ceremonies, however, such fires are not to be left unattended and are to be fully extinguished after use.

4) FIREWORKS. Possession, discharging or use of any type or fireworks is prohibited.

Commercial and Industrial restrictions can be obtained from the BIA Fire Office at 575 County Road 517 or by calling (970) 563-4571.

Anyone violating the provisions of this fire ban may be subject to prosecution outlined in the Southern Ute Indian Criminal Code.

For more information on the North Cinder Butte Area Fires, please visit the Southern Ute Indian Tribe website, and follow the Southern Ute Indian Tribe on social media. 

To report fires contact:

DURANGO ZONE DISPATCH (970) 385-1324

For more info or to report Fire Restriction Violations contact:

BIA FIRE MANAGEMENT (970) 563-4571 OR SOUTHERN UTE POLICE DEPARTMENT (970) 563-4401

Durango Interagency Coordinating Group (DRCG) Information

The Durango Interagency Coordinating Group has been established in 1990 to unite all local fire response agencies, local, state, and national agencies including: Bureau of Land Management (BLM), US Forest Service (USFS), Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), National Park Service (NPS), Colorado State, Montezuma, La Plata, Archuleta, San Juan (CO), Dolores and San Miguel Counties, and local fire departments within those counties. The Durango Interagency Coordinating Group is tasked to assess current wildfire conditions and release coordinated messages to inform and educate concerning fire danger and current fire restrictions. Wildfires do not know jurisdictional boundaries and therefore having a cooperative environment to collaborate on conditions and how best to approach fire safety and response. 

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