Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Stage 1 Fire Restrictions have been lifted

 Stage 1 Restrictions are lifted. The resolution will be ratified next week by BOCC and in the meantime – no restrictions in Archuleta County.

Thursday, July 10, 2014


DURANGO INTERAGENCY FIRE DISPATCH


U.S. Forest Service w Bureau of Land Management w National Park Service w Bureau of Indian Affairs w Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  July 10, 2014, 2:10 pm

Air and Ground Crews Responding to Wildfires North of US Highway 160

 

DURANGO – A helicopter and ground crews are working the KV Fire about one and a half miles north of US Highway 160 up the First Fork Road on the San Juan National Forest.  The lightning-caused wildfire, which is headed uphill on the west side of the Piedra River, is now estimated at about five acres in size.  Gusty winds are expected in the area, and the fire could threaten nearby power lines and communication lines to the south.  La Plata Electric Association has been notified and is on site.  The fire is not threatening any other structures at this time. 

 

A helicopter and a single engine air tanker (SEAT) are working the fire, as is one 20-person ground crew.  Another SEAT, two heavy air tankers, and additional firefighting crews, including a hot shot team, have been ordered. The fire was ignited last night by lightning, along with two other small fires, also burning near the First Fork Road.  One of those is currently estimated at ¼ acre and the other at 1/10th of an acre.  The firefighting effort is addressing these smaller fires in addition to the KV Fire.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Archuleta County Fire Restrictions


As of JULY 7, 2014
Stage 1 Fire restrictions are in place for South of Highway 160 and West Highway 84
By Order of the Archuleta County Commissioners and the Pagosa Springs Town Council
For the affected areas of Pagosa Springs and the private lands in Archuleta County*:


·         Prohibited are:   
    • Open Burning
    • Burn barrels
    • Agricultural burning
    • Use of explosive materials
    • Personal fireworks of any kind
·         Outside of fee campgrounds or developed parks, prohibited are:
o   Campfires
o   Coal or wood-burning stoves
o   Any type of charcoal grill
o   Any open fires.

·         Allowed are:
o   Charcoal fires in suitable containers in fee campgrounds and developed parks
o   Gas grills for barbecues at private residences
o   Fires within designated campground pits with protective grates
o   Camp stoves, grills, or lights fueled by bottled gas
o   Official fireworks displays sponsored by a government entity
(No fire should be left unattended and all fires should be fully extinguished after use)

 
·         Smoking is limited to vehicles, buildings, developed recreational areas, & 3-foot wide areas clear of vegetation

 
·         Internal combustion engines (chainsaws, generators) MUST have spark arresters

 
·         Cutting and welding operations MUST have:
o   Fire hand tools and 40 lb. worth of fire extinguishers or a pressurized water supply immediately available
o   A person identified as a Fire watch standing by continuously when an ignition of wildlands is possible

         
·         Oil and Gas Operations:
o   Flaring for production wells is allowed but a contact must be made to 9-1-1 dispatch
o   Compliance with the Rules for Fire Prevention and Protection must be met (Rule 606A)





*Although fire restrictions are similar, please contact other responsible agencies to get their specific restrictions.

In the event of a wildland fire, see www.acemergency.org or tune to KWUF 1400 AM for emergency information.
 
 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Power outage though out Pagosa Springs

4,000 Residents in Pagosa Spring are without power since this morning.  LPEA is working non-stop to fix the problem

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Missing boy has been found

Denton Mills has been found

MISSING BOY FROM PAGOSA MIDDLE SCHOOL

Missing 13 year old from Pagosa Middle School (Denton Mills). He 5'2" 110 pounds. He is wearing blue jeans, blk Jacket with skull on it. Blue eyes and Brown hair. He also has blk and blue shoes with orange and blk backpack. If you have any info on where Denton may be please call dispatch at 970-731-2160

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Pagosa Ranger District plans to conduct prescribed burning on Tuesday and Wednesday, January 28 and 29


PAGOSA SPRINGS – The Pagosa Ranger District plans to conduct prescribed burning on Tuesday and Wednesday, January 28 and 29, this week, weather permitting, on 30 acres of San Juan National Forest lands near the Visitors’ Center within Chimney Rock National Monument. About one dozen firefighters will ignite by hand needle litter and debris left over from a 2009 mechanical fuels-reduction project to further reduce flammable fuels on the ground. Burning operations are expected to take place from about noon until mid-afternoon for optimum smoke dispersal.  Smoke is expected to be minimal but may settle in areas to the north the following morning.  Signs will be posted on highways to alert travelers, but no visibility concerns are expected.

 

For more information, contact the Pagosa Ranger District at 970 264-2268.

 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The avalanche danger is CONSIDERABLE (Level 3) at all elevations

An intense storm on Wednesday produced very touchy avalanche conditions with both natural and human triggered avalanches. Today Storm Slabs and Persistent Slabs will be the most dangerous avalanche problems. Watch for avalanches breaking at or below the old snow surface. Slides that break into old snow layers will be both large and dangerous.

Snow has moved out of the mountains and the cold air has moved in. This morning temperatures are in 0 to -15 in most mountain areas. A few areas in the Steamboat zone reached -30 overnight. Today the low-pressure trough that brought heavy snow to the mountains will continue to move off to the east as a second, but much weaker, system approaches from the northwest.

Clouds in the exiting trough will move into the southern part of the state this morning and spread through the Southern Mountains. Expect ridgetop wind speeds in the Southern Mountains to remain elevated this morning and slowly drop this afternoon. Clouds and a few snow showers will reach the Central Mountains in the afternoon and continue into the evening.

A second wave of cold air will move into the state from the northwest this afternoon.  Clouds will build in the afternoon and increase into Friday. Temperatures will be quite cold again Thursday night and Friday. A stronger system is forecast to arrive Saturday night and into Sunday.

Monday, December 2, 2013

A WINTER STORM WATCH



.A STRONG WINTER STORM SYSTEM WITH ARCTIC ORIGINS IS EXPECTED TO
IMPACT THE AREA TONIGHT THROUGH WEDNESDAY EVENING. A COLD FRONT
ASSOCIATED WITH THIS SYSTEM WILL WORK INTO NORTHEAST UTAH AND
NORTHWEST COLORADO LATE TONIGHT THEN DROP TO NEAR THE INTERSTATE
70 CORRIDOR BY TUESDAY AFTERNOON...THEN THROUGH THE REMAINDER OF
THE FORECAST AREA ON WEDNESDAY. UPWARDS TO 3 FEET OF SNOW MAY BE
POSSIBLE IN THE MOUNTAINS WITH THE HEAVIEST ACCUMULATIONS EXPECTED
IN THE WEST CENTRAL COLORADO MOUNTAINS. THE VALLEYS COULD SEE UP
TO A FOOT OF SNOW ESPECIALLY IN THE STEAMBOAT SPRINGS AREA AND THE
INTERSTATE 70 CORRIDOR BETWEEN RIFLE AND VAIL. IN ADDITION...
TEMPERATURES ARE EXPECTED TO DROP 20 DEGREES OR MORE BY THURSDAY
AND STAY WELL BELOW NORMAL THROUGH THE WEEKEND. STRONG WINDS AHEAD
OF THE FRONT MAY SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE VISIBILITY FOR TRAVELERS
PASSING OVER MOUNTAIN PASSES EARLY THIS WEEK.

FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION ON THIS DEVELOPING WINTER STORM GO TO
OUR WEB PAGE AT WWW.WEATHER.GOV/GJT.



...WINTER STORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM TUESDAY EVENING
THROUGH WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON...

* TIMING...WIDESPREAD SIGNIFICANT SNOW ACCUMULATIONS WILL BE
  POSSIBLE TUESDAY NIGHT AND WEDNESDAY.

* SNOW ACCUMULATION...4 TO 8 INCHES WILL BE POSSIBLE...POSSIBLY
  APPROACHING 12 INCHES AT CERRO SUMMIT.

* WINDS...SOUTHWEST TO WEST 15 TO 25 MPH WITH LOCAL GUSTS TO 30
  MPH ON TUESDAY EVENING.

* VISIBILITY...MAY BE REDUCED TO LESS THAN A MILE AT TIMES IN
  MODERATE TO HEAVY SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WINTER STORM WATCH MEANS THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR SIGNIFICANT
SNOW ACCUMULATIONS AND/OR BLOWING SNOW THAT MAY IMPACT TRAVEL.
CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE LATEST FORECASTS.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Winter Storm in South West Colorado 2-4 Feet


An upper level low pressure system will be moving very slowly eastward across the desert southwest through the remainder of this week.  This upper low is tapping into very moist air which will continue to spread across Utah and Colorado.  The focus of this moisture will be into southwest Colorado.  The heaviest snowfall, with accumulations of 2 to 4 feet in some areas, should be in the mountains of southwest Colorado.
 
 
 

 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Devil Creek Prescribed Burn

Devil Creek Prescribed Burn

Fire Managers on the Pagosa Ranger District are planning to conduct a prescribed burn in the Turkey Springs area, located about 8 miles northwest of Pagosa Springs adjacent to Turkey Springs Road (FSR 629).  Smoke will be visible from HWY 160, Piedra Road, Pagosa Lakes, the north part of Archuleta County and the Sportsman's Store community in Hinsdale County. Daytime smoke is expected to disperse to the north and northeast.  Some nighttime smoke may settle in the Devil Creek drainage towards Aspen Springs subdivision.  Prescribed burning is planned to begin in the morning tomorrow, Thursday October 24.  Approximately 77 acres will be burned.

Over the last 10 years, Pagosa District personnel have spent extensive time and effort in the Turkey Springs area thinning, reducing ladder fuels and mitigating wildfire effects in the highly recreated Turkey Springs area.  The Devil Creek Prescribed Burn will build and expand on those efforts, making the Turkey Springs area a healthy, productive ecosystem for recreationist to use safely. 

The objectives of prescribed burning are to:
1)      Return fire as a natural process to fire dependent and fire adapted ponderosa pine forests.
2)      Reduce ground and ladder fuels, decreasing risk of crown fire
3)      Improve or maintain wildlife habitat
4)      Recycle nutrients
5)      Consume slash left over from forest health and fuels reduction thinning projects.

If you are planning to recreate or hunt in these areas, please look for signs posted near prescribed burn areas, particularly trail heads and parking areas.  For additional information about the proposed burn or other fuels-reduction efforts, contact public information officer Brandy Richardson at (970) 264-1530.

 

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Warning

  • This AfternoonFrequent showers and thunderstorms. Some of the storms could produce small hail, gusty winds, and heavy rain. High near 62. South southwest wind 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%.
  • TonightShowers and thunderstorms before 1am, then a slight chance of showers between 1am and 3am. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall. Low around 37. West southwest wind 10 to 15 mph decreasing to 5 to 10 mph after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%.
Closed: US 160 2 miles west of Del Norte, accident, delays go to CDOT Mobile app,  cotrip.org or call 511

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Archuleta County Flood Preparedness Information

The flooding on the Front Range of Colorado has generated a good deal of concern about the flooding risk in Archuleta County.  The flood risk to Archuleta County is real, but not anywhere close to what we are seeing in the news.  During monsoonal rain events the Archuleta County area regularly sees the following:
  • Increase in river heights
  • Small rock and mud slides
  • Debris flows on to roads
  • Flash floods
These are more likely to occur in areas near canyons.  These affects generally present no more than a nuance.  In the past week we have seen a little over 2.5" of rain in the central Archuleta County area.  These rains have not caused any life threatening incidents.  They have however, caused all of the above affects and temporarily washed out two road.  Washed out roads do present a bit more than a nuance. 

One of these roads is a private road in the Arboles areas.  This road was washed out twice in the last week by a flash floods in the area of a culvert.  After the first event, Los Pinos Fire and Archuleta County assessed the situation.  Their are a number of county residents that live up this road.  As the road is private, there is little the county has authority to do, with the exception of having a plan if there is an emergency beyond the damaged area.  Just prior to its second washout, Los Pinos Fire attempted to pump water across the road to reduce impact on the road.  Unfortunately the road still became compromised.   Residents are working with a local contractor to find a permanent solution.

The other road that was washed out was Forest Road 640.  This washout occurred yesterday and temporarily isolated a number of Forest Service campgrounds in the area of Williams Lake.  Temporary repairs were made immediately following the rain event.  More permanent repairs are being made today.

Similar to suppressing the numerous number of small wildland fires in Archuleta County, taking care of our thoroughfares during monsoon season is never ending.  With wildland fires our County's firefighters are out there constantly fighting fires the public does not hear about or see.  It is the same with state, county, and private road maintenance, when it is raining.  Our public works personnel do not get much of a rest.

Today we are expecting much of the same pattern we have seen for the last few weeks.  There is about the same amount of moister in the air as there was during the storms a week and a half ago.

What we are doing:
Like always during any rainy period (or our spring runoff period), we are working with the national weather service and the division of water resources to monitor storms and river flows.  If we become concerned we, along with the national weather service, will issue special statements or warnings.  This may include, but is not limited to using the County's Emergency Call Back System (you can register to the right), the National Emergency Alert System (Radio and TV), our emergency twitter feed (@ac_emergency), this website, and door-to-door notification.

What you should do:
  • Immediately climb to higher ground if you think it is going to flood
  •  Stay out of canyon bottoms when it is raining
  • Review information on Colorado Flood Readiness; great information can be found at www.readycolorado.com/hazard/flood 
  • And, please never drive through a road that is cover by water or mud



Thursday, August 22, 2013

Numerous Small Lightning Fires in Archuleta County Area

On Wednesday the Archuleta County area took around 2000 lightning strikes.  Out of these six small fires ignited:
  • In the area of CR 500 / CR 551
  • North end of Snowball Rd
  • Above Falls Creek Road on Wolf Creek Pass
  • On O'Neal Hill in S. Hinsdale County
  • As well as a few others
All of the fires were located and are now in verious stages of being put out.  All of the fires were kept to about 1/10 of an acre.  Firefighters from Pagosa Fire, Los Pinos Fire, Upper Pine Fire, San Juan National Forest, the BIA, and the Archuleta Sheriff's Office were involved in keeping these fires small.  Over the next few days firefighters will continue to watch these fires to ensure they are out.  With the lightning in the forecast, we are expecting to continue to see new small fires. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Rio Blanco River Level Returing to Normal

As of 10pm it appears the Rio Blanco River level is returning to normal.

NWS Has Issued a Flood Advisory for Central Archuleta County - Specificaly the Rio Blanco

NWS has issued a flood advisory for the Rio Blanco River. The Rio Bloco river has risen in height over the last hour.  With the possibility of addional rain the NWS is issuing a flood advorory for residents along the rio blanco river.  As a precaution, we are asking the public in the area to be on heightened alert for minor flooding, and take necessary personal precautions.  Remember not drive over flooded road.  

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN GRAND JUNCTION HAS ISSUED A

* SMALL STREAM FLOOD ADVISORY FOR...
  CENTRAL ARCHULETA COUNTY IN SOUTHWEST COLORADO...

* UNTIL 1030 PM MDT

* AT 726 PM MDT...DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED AND EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
  REPORTED THUNDERSTORMS WITH HEAVY RAINFALL ACROSS THE ADVISORY
  AREA...WITH THE PUBLIC REPORTING THE RIO BLANCO RIVER FLOWING NEAR
  BANKFULL.

* RUNOFF FROM THIS EXCESSIVE RAINFALL WILL CAUSE MINOR FLOODING...
  ESPECIALLY ALONG SMALL STREAMS AND NEAR LOW WATER CROSSINGS.
  MINOR FLOODING IS EXPECTED TO OCCUR OVER MAINLY RURAL AREAS OF
  CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN ARCHULETA COUNTY.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

EXCESSIVE RUNOFF FROM THIS STORM WILL CAUSE MINOR FLOODING OF SMALL
CREEKS AND STREAMS...COUNTRY ROADS...AS WELL AS FARMLAND ALONG THE
BANKS OF CREEKS AND STREAMS.

DO NOT DRIVE YOUR VEHICLE INTO AREAS WHERE THE WATER COVERS THE
ROADWAY. THE WATER DEPTH MAY BE TOO GREAT TO ALLOW YOUR CAR TO CROSS
SAFELY.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Fire Restrictions Lifted on Private, County, and State lands in Archuleta County





Effective immediately, the Sheriff of Archuleta County has lifted all fire restrictions on all private, county, and state lands in Archuleta County.  The Town of Pagosa Springs has done the same.  Please still be vigilant when using fire for recreation or work.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Fire Ban Downgraded to Fire Restriction

The Archuleta County fire ban has been downgraded to a stage 1 fire restriction.

The fire restriction is in place for all private lands in Archuleta County and the Town of Pagosa Springs.  Please select the "Wildland Fire" Tab above or download the poster below for further details.

Download Archuleta Fire Restriction Poster

Monday, July 15, 2013

West Fork Fire - July 15 - Anticipated last post.

This is anticipated to be the last blog for the West Fork Fire Complex to be posted with the Archuleta County EM.  If fire conditions change and the San Juan Forest area becomes active again, we will update the blog.

West Fork Complex Fire Update


Colorado Interagency Type III Team – Phil Daniels, Incident Commander

Fire Information Phone: 719-569-4149 Voice mail only, calls will be returned as quickly as possible.

Hours of operation: 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Email: WestForkFire.EastZone@gmail.com

July 15, 2013

10:00 a.m.

Special Message: As of 6 p.m. July 14, the Colorado Interagency Team III assumed command of the West Fork Complex.

Current Situation:

The Papoose fire is the only fire on the complex that is currently staffed. The other fires will continue to be monitored by air and appropriate action will be taken as needed. Two, Type 3 helicopters remain dedicated to monitoring and when needed, provide bucket drops and other fire support for this complex.

Weather: The entire fire complex remains with strong chances for wetting rains throughout much of this week. The moonsonal moisture will combine with an upper level flow pattern favorable for continued afternoon and evening shower and thundershower development. Temperatures are currently cool, and expected to increase later this week returning to near normal levels. Flash flood watches with potential ash and/or debris flows remain in place in all three fire areas.

Papoose Fire: There is scattered interior heat on the fire that continues to be monitored. Crews will be working to fell dead and damaged trees along popular travel routes, including the River Hill campground.

West Fork Fire and Windy Pass Fire: There are very minimal areas of heat and smoke on this part of the fire. The fires will be monitored and appropriate action will be taken as needed.

Public Health and Safety:

Smoke can be expected to be seen across parts of the fire for the next several days to weeks. The rain and winds have gone a long way towards clearing the air. For the Colorado Smoke Outlook, visit http://www.colorado.gov/airquality/colo_advisory.aspx or http://www.colorado.gov/airquality/wildfire.aspx for more information.

Area Road and Trail Closures:

For information on road and trail closures and fire restrictions affecting the San Juan National Forest go to: http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/sanjuan/alerts-notices.

For information on road and trail closures and fire restrictions affecting the Rio Grande National Forest go to: http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/riogrande/.

Fire Statistics:

Location: 14.5 miles north/northeast of Pagosa Springs, CO Start Date: 06/05/2013

Complex Size: 109,615 acres Percent Contained: 66%

Windy Pass: 1,417 acres Cause: Lightning

Papoose: 49,628 acres Total Personnel: 82

West Fork: 58,570 acres

Resources Include: 1 Type-1 hand crews, 1 Type-2 hand crews, 5 engines, 6 water tenders, 2 Type-3 helicopters and 13 overhead personnel.

For more information:

Blog: http://westforkfirecomplex.blogspot.com/
Website: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3436/

Twitter: @RioGrandeUSFS
Photos: http://s1286.photobucket.com/user/WestForkComplex/library/



Sunday, July 14, 2013

Small fire in the area of Squaw Canyon Now Controled

A fire was reported in the area of Squaw Canyon yesterday evening.  This is in the area of Echo Canyon Reservoir.  Firefighters from the Sheriff's Office, Pagosa Fire, and San Juan National Forest helped to locate and control the fire.  The fire was started by lightning and was contained at 1/2 acre.

Another small fire is visible from the Hatcher Lake area on the east side of Chris Mountain.  Forest Service firefighters have now contained this fire as well.

West Fork Complex - July 14

West Fork Complex Fire Update

Great Basin Incident Management Team 1 – Beth Lund, Incident Commander          
Fire Information Phone:  719-569-4149* As of Sunday, 7-14 this number goes to voice mail only.     Calls will be returned as quickly as possible.                                                  
Hours of operation: 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

July 13, 2013
9:00 a.m.                    

Special Message:  Containment is now up to 66%.

Current Situation:
At 6 p.m. today the Great Basin Incident Management Team 1 will hand off responsibility to manage the Papoose and West Fork Fires to Phil Daniel’s Colorado Type 3 Incident Management Team.  The complex will remained staffed with adequate resources to patrol and monitor the status of the two fires as well as serve as an Initial Attack (IA) force should the need arise.

The Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR) are scheduled to be lifted at 6 p.m today.

An interagency Burn Area Emergency Response (BAER) team will be arriving tomorrow to begin their initial assessments.  The goal of a BAER team is to assess the after effects of a fire(s) and develop a strategy for emergency stabilization and rehabilitation.  Everything from erosion protection to what needs to be done to make trails, roads and campgrounds safe for people to re-enter damaged sections of the forests.

Public Health and Safety: 
You can expect to see smoke across parts of the fire for the next several days to weeks.  The rains and monsoon associated winds have gone a long way towards clearing the air. For the Colorado Smoke Outlook, visit http://www.colorado.gov/airquality/colo_advisory.aspx or http://www.colorado.gov/airquality/wildfire.aspx for more information.

Area Road and Trail Closures: 
For information on road and trail closures and fire restrictions affecting the San Juan National Forest go to: http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/sanjuan/alerts-notices. 

For information on road and trail closures and fire restrictions affecting the Rio Grande National Forest go to: http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/riogrande/.

Fire Statistics:
Location:  14.5 miles north/northeast of Pagosa Springs, CO              Start Date: 06/05/2013          
Complex Size:  109,615 acres                                                             Percent Contained: 66%
Windy Pass: 1,417 acres                                                          Cause:  Lightning
            Papoose: 49,628 acres                                                             Total Personnel: 289
            West Fork: 58,570 acres                                                                                             
                                                                                               
Resources Include:  1 Type-1 hand crew, 1 Type-2 hand crew, 14 engines, 2 water tenders, and 136 overhead personnel.

Air Resources: 2 Type 3-helicopters.

Information Traplines:
The information traplines have been discontinued.  The information updates and maps will continue to be
available on InciWeb and the incident blogspot.  Beth Lund’s Great Basin IMT 1 would like to thank all
of the communities, businesses and agencies for their kind support of our firefighters. Additionally we
would like to extend our thanks to all of the local businesses and agencies for assisting us in sharing the
changing status of this incident with the visitors and residents of this beautiful area.

For more information:
Twitter: @RioGrandeUSFS  | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GreatBasin

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