Saturday, June 23
As of 10:00, the fire has been renamed the Oak Meadows Fire again. All other information is the same.
As of 7:00 PM, crews estimate the fire is 60 percent contained, with a couple more days of work remaining. Air support is expected to complete their work tonight, two hand crews will be released Sunday morning, and two others are expected to be released Sunday night, leaving two hand crews to mop up the fire Monday. Walt Stowe with the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office says all remaining resources should be released from the Aspen Way Fire Monday night.
3:00PM: A Type-3 Incident Management Team is expected to take over the Aspen Way Fire near the Oak Meadows Subdivision. The fire was first reported around 5:30 Friday evening and led to the evacuation of several residents in the subdivision off of Four Mile Road. The evacuation order was lifted at 10 o’clock last night after quick-working firefighting crews attacked the 40-acre blaze with numerous slurry drops before the sun set that painted a box of retardant around the fire. The moist evening air cooled things down overnight and helped calm the fire. Today’s operations continued with local resources including crews from Glenwood Springs, Basalt, Carbondale, Aspen and Colorado River Fire and Rescue. Prior to resuming slurry drops, the power had to be cut off in the southern section of Oak Meadows to prevent electrical damage. No homes have been burned but the flames did come within a few hundred yards of a few cabins and outbuildings in the area. Officials say fire control and mop up operations will likely continue for the next couple of days. Sopris Elementary in Glenwood Park is being used as a campsite for firefighters. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
1:00PM: Fire renamed Aspen Way Fire. Visiting firefighters will camp at Sopris Elementary. Residents are asked to expect lots of truck traffic and avoid the area if possible. Due to ongoing air operations, civilian drones remain grounded.
11:00 AM: Residents of the Oak Meadows subdivision are back in their homes today but have been warned to prepare to leave at a moment’s notice. The power was shut off around 8:30 this morning for residents in the southern part of Oak Meadows so air tankers could continue slurry drops and avoid causing an electrical short. According to information from Garfield County Sheriff’s Office Spokesman Walt Stowe, the 40-acre wildfire is not contained and as temperatures rise into the 90’s, the behavior of the fire could change rapidly. The encouraging news is no high winds are in the forecast which should help crews make some progress. A Type-3 Incident Management Team is coming this afternoon to take over. The fire was first reported a little after 5 o’clock Friday afternoon. What sparked the blaze is not known at this time but according to a work crew in the area that first reported the fire, it may have originated at a transformer behind a home at the south end of Oak Meadows. No homes have been damaged and all of the residents who were evacuated and allowed back home late last night are on notice that they may have to leave again if things get out of control. In the meantime, four (SEATS) Single Engine Air Tankers, a large tanker, a helicopter and at least 50 members from the Juniper Valley Fire Crew will remain on the scene until the Type-3 team arrives.
10:30 PM There were 50 firefighters on the Oak Meadows fire today. Saturday, the fire will be taken over by a Type-3 Incident Management Team. Crew will remain in the area and monitor the fire throughout the night.
Air operations will continue Saturday and drone operators are warned not to fly, as all firefighting aircraft will be grounded at first sight of a civilian drone. (FAA Drone Regulations near wildfires.)
Residents returning home to Aspen Way are being asked to park “below” to allow fire and emergency personnel access.
10:00 PM Evacuated residents are being allowed back to their homes. The fire has laid down for the night and remains about 40 acres in size. Hand crews are expected to arrive in the morning. A press briefing is scheduled for 8:00 AM Saturday. We will update this article at that time, or sooner if necessary.
9:30 PM Residents of the Oak Meadows Subdivision remain evacuated tonight as fire crews continue battling a fire, approximately 40 acres in size.
According to Walt Stowe with the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, the fire started late this afternoon and grew quickly. A bulldozer has been brought in to help build fireline and with several aircraft were in the air until shortly before dark, including 4 Single Engine Air Tankers (SEATs), 1 Large Air Tanker, and a Type I Helicopter.
Evacuated residents have been advised to go to Sopris Elementary School.
The cause has not been released. It is not known if any structures were lost.