Crews expect additional containment of Williams Fork Fire

Sky-Hi News staff report
A Brainerd Firehawk A-Star helicopter flies above the Williams Fork River in the Henderson Mine/ Mill area preparing to perform firing operations in late August.
Courtesy Kari Greer

Following successful burning operations east of County Road 30, crews are anticipating additional containment over the next few days on the Williams Fork Fire.

In a Wednesday update, officials said the fire grew only slight on Tuesday to 11,726 acres with containment remaining at 5%.

Burning operations were accomplished both by ground and air, with aerial ignition done using a dispenser that launches small plastic spheres through an opening in a helicopter. The spheres are filled with a chemical that reacts and ignites after a short delay.

This type of air ignition allowed for burning operations on terrain that may be difficult or unsafe for firefighters to reach by ground. The planned ignitions are intended to burn in a “mosaic” pattern at a lower intensity than an uncontrolled wildfire.

Firefighters will continue to monitor the burn and put out hot spots near the fire line. Once the area is cool, officials said it will provide a secure line of containment.

To the north and east of the fire, between surrounding communities, crews continue work to provide control lines for confinement. Additional equipment and ground resources continue to arrive, with 344 personnel currently allocated to the fire.

Fire crews are also working in the Bobtail Mine and Denver Water infrastructure areas to provide protection.

Weather is expected to remain moderate over the fire area on Wednesday with a chance of afternoon precipitation.

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