Grand Hogback Fire Update

New Castle—The Grand Hogback Fire in New Castle scorched 102 acres as of last night according to official reports from the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office.  Once the winds calmed down, crews from Colorado River Fire Rescue, the Bureau of Land Management, Glenwood Springs Fire Department, the Rifle-based Colorado State Engine 6221, the Interagency Unit and 20 members of the Lone Peak Hotshots from Utah were able to slow the fire’s movement east toward Glenwood Springs and west toward the Riverbend townhomes. Thanks to the quick, aggressive response response late Monday afternoon, no evacuations were called for and no structures were ever in danger.  In addition to a pair of K-Max water-dropping helicopters, a single-engine air tanker made several passes over the Grand Hogback Fire, dropping loads of slurry.  While the fire did in fact “lay down” overnight, it is still very active and efforts to contain it will continue throughout the day including water drops to douse any hot spots along the leading edge of the burned area. Crews on the ground are not only working in dangerously steep terrain but are having to deal with loose rocks and large boulders, some of which tumbled down the mountainside during the heat of battle.  With more hot, dry weather and gusty afternoon winds, the fire may kick up again, however additional resources are available if needed.  In addition to the fire, authorities say there are other dangers and hazards that pose a risk to life and property….people.  This area is strictly off limits to drones.  It is a no-fly zone and anyone caught flying a drone near the fire will be cited and hit with a heavy fine as well as any costs or damage caused by interrupting firefighting efforts.  The public is also urged to avoid County Road 335 east of New Castle until it is deemed safe.  Motorists are also being discouraged from stopping along I-70 to take photos or video. With no rain in the foreseeable forecast, the fire danger is only going to increase as fuels dry out. Right now, dozens of wildfires of varying size are burning in Western Colorado as well as neighboring states, putting further strain on manpower, funds and other resources.  Due to the fire danger and the recent events, the city of New Castle has canceled tonight’s fireworks display.  As you celebrate our nation’s independence today and tonight, let’s all pray for and thank our amazing first responders  for keeping us safe.

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