Snow melt helps to limit growth of East Troublesome Fire
Snow melt has continued around the East Troublesome Fire, creating an “ideal” situation to limit fire behavior and allow fuels to absorb available moisture.
According to an update from fire officials, the fire has not seen significant growth since the snow fell Sunday, sitting at 193,774 acres and 32% containment. Temperatures are continuing to rise today with a weak inversion lingering and causing fog and smokey air.
Winds are expected today, preceding Saturday’s dry cold front, with gusts up to 25 mph. The next chance of precipitation for the area is not expected until the first weekend of November.
Areas are starting to dry out on southern aspects and under tree drip lines, with visible smoke on the northern portion, which is the most active part of the fire, along with isolated smoldering throughout other portions.
Weather conditions Thursday allowed firefighters to engage on the ground in the southern and eastern parts of the fire. The southwestern section had limited access due to snow.
Crews said they were able to clear a “small but important” piece of containment line near Table Mountain and continued efforts clearing the East Inlet Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park as a contingency line. Felling operations are complete on the trail and the contingency line is connected to rocky terrain. This line will be used to stop spread if fire behavior increases in the future.
Today, firefighters will work along the US Highway 34 and US Highway 40 corridors to mop up exposed areas and patrol the fire area. Along Highway 125, which is still closed, firefighters are assisting local fire personnel by responding to hot spots.
Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin said on Thursday that damage assessments continue and that structures lost now number 250, with more losses expected.
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