As of Thursday (8/20), the Grizzly Creek Fire, raging through Glenwood Canyon, has burned over 25,000 acres. Last week, the fire doubled in size in less than a day (Thursday, 8/13), and has been greatly accelerated by hot, dry, and windy conditions – with persistent wind gusts between 15 and 25 mph. According to the Eagle County Sheriff’s Department, the fire – first reported Monday afternoon (8/10) – was ‘unofficially’ started by a popped tire, leading to flying sparks from a rim. Governor Polis visited the Incident Command Center on Friday morning and said getting the Grizzly Creek Fire under control is a top priority.
Flames on both sides of Glenwood Canyon make the firefighting especially challenging for crews, as the stability of canyon walls is a big concern. “Of course the canyon walls are very steep and that vegetation did get burned off, so we’ll have specialists that will come in and really evaluate that – but there is of course a concern that we’ll get some pre-sedimentation and some debris flows and that sort of thing,” said Forest Service Fire Information Officer David Boyd. In addition, CDOT will need to assess the integrity of two bridges near the fire and prep for mitigation in the event of increased rockfall hazard.
I-70 is closed through Glenwood Canyon and Cottonwood Pass will also be closed through the duration of the firefighting activities. DO NOT attempt lesser known 4x4 roads such as Crooked Creek Pass or Eagle Thomasville Road as they have filled with thousands or cars and accidents.
· Independence Pass/CO 82 is NOW OPEN for passenger vehicle traffic ONLY
· Travelers heading Westbound can use US 24, CO 91, or CO 9 to access US 285 and US 50 to continue west
· Travelers heading Eastbound can use US 50 to US 24, CO 91, or CO 9 back to I-70, or continue east on US 285
· Travelers can also take the northern detour of CO 131 to US 40 to CO 139. CO 13 is not recommended due to construction
As of now, here are the following evacuations. For those who must evacuate, shelter has been setup at the Glenwood Springs Rec Center and at other sites in Gypsum
· No Name, Lookout Mountain, Homestead Estates, High Aspen Ranch, Coulter Creek, Spring Valley Ranch, Sweetwater Road, Buck Point Road, Cottonwood Pass, Bair Ranch, Coffee Pot Springs
· Two Rivers Village and Dotsero are on ‘pre-evacuation notice’
· Residents in north Glenwood Springs should be prepared for rapidly changing conditions that may lead to additional pre-evacuation notices
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