The Grizzly Creek Fire continues to burn in Glenwood Canyon, both north and south of Interstate 70 and the Colorado River.
Management of the fire has been transferred to the Rocky Mountain Type 2 Incident Management Blue Team. According to an update from the incident command, “The fire is expected to be extremely active and fast-moving.”
The fire has grown to more than 3,200 acres and is zero percent contained. Interstate 70 remains closed for 25 miles between Glenwood Springs and Gypsum. There is no estimated time of reopening.
Chaffee County can expect to see much more traffic than usual. the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is routing traffic off I-70 from both directions to roads north and south of the interstate; traffic heading northward through Kremmling and traffic heading southward onto U.S. 24 and U.S. 285 through Chaffee County to U.S. 50 over Monarch Pass.
Due to road conditions, travelers (especially those driving RVs and pulling trailers) are being discouraged from taking the route over Cottonwood Pass which has been bumper to bumper for the past few days. Also due to the danger for those pulling camping rigs and driving oversized motorhomes, CDOT has closed U.S. 82 over Independence Pass until further notice.
For more about road closures go to http://www.cotrip.org for road closure information.
All jurisdictions in the area of the fire moved to Stage 2 as of Thursday. These are the type of fire conditions about which residents of the mountains worry. After experiencing last year’s Decker Fire, Chaffee County residents know them well. The area is under red flag warning with winds gusting to 30 mph. The fire is burning in mixed conifer, aspen, and oak brush. All fuel types are very dry and receptive to fire.
On Wednesday afternoon, the City of Glenwood Springs shut off the No Name water diversion source and began pumping water from the Roaring Fork River pump station. It issued water restrictions and directed residents to stop watering their lawns for 48 hours, to conserve water resources. It also notified large water users in the area to restrict water usage.
According to coverage in the Vail Daily, the City of Glenwood Springs operates a community water supply system that supplies drinking water to 9,614 residents located within Garfield County, Colorado, and drinking water comes from three surface water intakes in the Colorado River watershed.
Current evacuations and closures: Coffee Pot Road, Transfer Trail, and Clinetop Mesa roads are closed, as are much of the lands of BLM and Forest Service in those areas. Closure maps are available on inciweb. The No Name, Lookout Mountain, and Coulter Creek communities east of Glenwood Springs have been evacuated. Evacuated residents are going to the Glenwood Springs Community Center.