Officials increase presence, resources at Silver Creek Fire
KREMMLING — Additional personnel and resources joined efforts on Thursday to fight the Silver Creek Fire after officials transferred command of the fire to a Type 2 incident crew.
The fire has grown to over 4,500 acres and wind pushed fire activity on the north and south, which is the edge of the fire closest to Latigo Ranch and Old Park. The crew has grown to 323 personnel from just over 200 earlier this week.
So far, no structures have been damaged or lost.
Crews on Friday are focusing on creating firelines from Forest Road 100 on the east to the south side of the fire.
“We’re trying to get as much of (the east and south) line secured, wherever we have to pull resources,” said Shay Rogge, planning operations trainee. “The only time (crews) are going to move out of there is when their lives or safety is in danger.”
Containment of the fire decreased to 5 percent due to the growth of the fire.
Crews are relying on air resources, including four helicopters, to drop water and retardant to slow the progression of the fire toward Old Park. They are also building dozerlines using bulldozers and other heavy machinery to clear a space free of fuel in between the fire and the structures.
“They’re taking away as much as they can of available fuel,” Rogge said.
Night operations continue using air resources and ground crews. Officials said the fire is being fought around the clock.
There have been no spot fires within Old Park, but some flames in between the neighborhood and Latigo Ranch. Rogge said they received permission to use water from Latigo Ranch’s pool and pond to fight the fire.
Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin said fire crews have placed defense at every home at risk in Old Park.
“The houses along that top rim have fire engines and crews sitting at every single house,” Schroetlin said. “There’s a virtual army of firefighters sitting in Old Park and waiting and they’re watching for the spot fires, protecting (the) houses.”
Rogge said that mornings have been calm, but the fire has been reaching critical points in the afternoons when weather shifts. Thursday’s thunderstorms did not provide any rain over the area or lightning, which could potentially cause new fires, but did bring strong wind that pushed the fire.
A chance of thunderstorms persists for Friday, which could produce gusty winds again. If conditions are appropriate, crews may take the opportunity to burn any unconsumed fuel that remains in the area between the fire and the constructed fireline.
“There’s no guarantee with any of this when you’re dealing with spots and receptive fuels,” Rogge said “All we’re doing is what we can to point protect as much as we can.”
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