Updated: Gore Ridge Fire nears full containment | SkyHiNews.com

Updated: Gore Ridge Fire nears full containment

The Gore Ridge Fire is nearing full containment. Local fire authorities hope to reach 100 percent containment on the blaze today, Thursday Sept. 15.

According to Grand Fire Protection District (GFPD) Assistant Chief Schelly Olson containment on the fire stands at approximately 60 percent as of 9:30 a.m. Thursday morning. Cool overnight temperatures and moisture that fell in the area kept the fire contained to under nine-acres. The last official tally given by County authorities on Wednesday Sept. 14 listed containment at 35 percent and the size of the fire at just over eight-and-a-half-acres.

Officials are optimistic they will bring the fire under full containment today and hope to be able to allow residents of the area to return home sometime Friday. Grand County Road 14 South remains closed and the evacuation order for the Gorewood Estates housing subdivision remains in effect.

Incident Command on the fire was transferred from Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin to Grand Fire’s Assistant Chief Brad White Thursday morning at 8 a.m. Fire crews will be working to wet the main burn area today, setting up sprinklers and monitoring for hotspots. Firefighting efforts for Thursday will focus on ground-based resources only.

“Firefighters will be working on soaking the interior of the fire,” Assistant Chief Olson said. “Getting a lot of water in there and cooling the interior.”

The helicopter that was used Tuesday and Wednesday to battle the blaze has returned home as has the reconnaissance focused Multi-Mission Aircraft that was brought in for aerial surveillance and monitoring of hotspots. As of Thursday morning no structures were lost and no injuries have been reported.

The Gore Ridge Fire kicked off on Tuesday Sept. 13 around mid-day. The Grand County Sheriff’s Office (GCSO) is investigating the cause of the blaze though initial reports indicated the fire was the result of a slash pile burn that got out of control. The fire burned through heavily timbered forestland, ironically located just a short distance outside of the Kremmling Fire Protection District’s boundaries, on the far eastern flank of the Gore Range slightly north of the Gore Canyon.

Fire crews that battled the blaze were forced to contend with thick stands of beetle kill pine, which poses a significant blow over hazard to firefighters, and steep mountain slopes with circuitous winding roads providing access. The main fire area was significantly close to several homes in the region with the main burn area smoldering just a few hundred yards from a large hillside residence that was seriously threatened by the fire.

On Wednesday Sept. 14 Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin said there is no plan to reinstate the recently terminated fire restrictions for Grand County. “We consider this an isolated event,” Sheriff Schroetlin said. He went on to explain local authorities continuously assess the fire danger in Grand County and at this time there is no need to put the restrictions back into place.

A Community Meeting will be held in the CSU Extension Office of the Kremmling Fairgrounds at 11 a.m. on Thursday Sept. 15 with updates on the ongoing suppression efforts.

Multiple local, state and federal agencies responded to the fire and provided assistance. Working on the Gore Ridge Fire were: the Kremmling Fire Protection District, the GFPD, the Hot Sulphur Springs/Parshall Fire Protection District, the Grand Lake Fire Protection District, the East Grand Fire Protection District, the GCSO, the Grand County Office of Emergency Management, Grand County EMS, Kremmling Police, the US Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control, the Craig Hotshots crew and the Juniper Valley Hotshots crew.

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