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East Canyon Fire, West of Durango Updates

East Canyon Fire, West of Durango Updates

June 22, 2020: East Canyon Fire Updates 

Location: Approximately two miles southeast of Mancos, Colorado

Started: Sunday, June 14, 2020

Cause: Lightning

Fire size today: 2,905 acres

Containment: 79%

Structures Lost: 0

Ground Resources-

362 firefighters total: 10 crews, 15 engines, 6 pieces of heavy equipment

Air Operations-

A full complement of air resources is available in the fire area, and aircraft are ordered as needed.

Evacuation information-

La Plata County:

Call 970- 385-8700 or Follow @LaPlataCounty on Facebook

Montezuma County:

Call Cortez Dispatch at 970-565-8441 or @MontezumaCountyColorado on Facebook


No closures anticipated to Highway 160. Travelers can check road status at www.COTrip.org or by calling 511 or 303-639-1111.

Temporary Flight Restriction-

A temporary flight restriction (TFR) is in effect: https://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_0_9856.html


Rocky Mountain Type 2 Blue Team

Firefighters continued to make good progress on securing containment lines on the East Canyon fire. Containment is now at 79%. The north and east sides of the fire (Divisions A and E) are fully contained. There was no change in acres.

Two engines patrolled the area until night and observed limited fire activity.

As fire activity slows down some crews, engines, and aircraft are being reassigned to other incidents or released. The fire will transition to a Type 3 organization on Wednesday at 6:00 AM.

Today’s Operations

Firefighters will continue to seek out and extinguish hot spots on the south and west sides of the fire’s perimeter.

Firefighters have begun cleanup operations like pulling flagging and backhauling trash, and where appropriate, will begin some rehabilitation efforts. These efforts include items like building waterbars along hand line and dozer line, and eventually pulling brush back over these lines to assist with erosion control.

Aircraft remain available to support firefighters as needed.

Fire Conditions and Weather

A Red Flag Warning is once again in effect from noon until 9:00 PM and critical fire weather conditions remain with high temperatures and lower relative humidity levels dominating the area. Winds will generally be out of the west/northwest with occasional gusts of 25-30 mph.

Incident information: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6776

Twitter: @EastCanyonFire #EastCanyonFire

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eastcanyonfire

Phone: 970-335-9664  Hours: 8am 8pm

Email: 2020.eastcanyon@firenet.gov



June 18, 2020: East Canyon Fire evacuations downgraded to pre-evacuation status

 All La Plata County residences that were under evacuation orders due to the East Canyon Fire will now shift to pre-evacuation status.

This includes homes in the Cherry Creek area along County Road 105 and
from Mancos Hill east to the Target Tree Campground. Residents can return home, but remain prepared to leave with little notice should significant fire activity resume. Pre-evacuation orders for both sides of U.S. Highway 160 from Target Tree Campground to Mile Marker 66 – approximately 3 miles east of the
U.S. Highway 160/County Road 105 intersection – remain in place. County Road 105, or Cherry Creek Road, is open only to residents and fire-fighting traffic Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team Blue is serving as incident command for the East Canyon Fire.

For fire information, please follow @eastcanyonfire on Facebook. For additional information,including evacuation, sheltering and road closure information, please follow @LaPlataCounty on Facebook.


JUNE 17, 2020

There is currently a fire burning on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land located on a ridge southeast of Mancos, Colorado. Named by local authorities the “East Canyon Fire,” the fire was sparked by lightning on Saturday, June 13th, starting on private land then moving on to BLM land. The fire has prompted evacuations and is estimated to have grown to 1,100 acres as of Monday, June 15th. Fire resources are on scene and a Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Type 3 Incident Management Team will be taking command.

Where is the fire?
The East Canyon Fire is approximately 20 miles west of Durango, spanning the La Plata-Montezuma county line. The fire was sparked by lightning Saturday, starting on private land then moving on to BLM land.

Will the fire grow?
A Red Flag Warning has been issued for both Monday and Tuesday with gusty winds possible both days. Resources currently battling the East Canyon Fire include a Very Large Airtanker (VLAT), two air tankers, and two Single Engine Airtankers (SEATs). Approximately 60 firefighters are currently on scene and more resources will be arriving throughout the day. Due to the extreme drought conditions facing Southwest Colorado, fire managers have been requesting and coordinating extra resources for several weeks to increase their ability to quickly respond to fires. 
Do I need to cancel my vacation plans to the Durango area?
No, Durango is open for business and welcoming visitors. Durango is 20 miles west of the fire, and businesses and activities in the Durango area have not been affected by the East Canyon Fire. There is visible smoke to the west of town, but there are plenty of activities and events to enjoy summer in and around Durango. Area residents and travelers should remain alert to emergency announcements. La Plata County is in Stage 1 Fire Restrictions, so please be considerate of fire restrictions while you are visiting.

Air Quality Health Advisory for Wildfire Smoke
If smoke is thick or becomes thick in your neighborhood you may want to remain indoors. This is especially true for those with heart disease, respiratory illnesses, the very young, and the elderly. Consider limiting outdoor activity when moderate to heavy smoke is present. Consider relocating temporarily if smoke is present indoors and is making you ill. If visibility is less than 5 miles in your area, smoke has reached unhealthy levels. https://www.colorado.gov/airquality/colo_advisory.aspx

Are there any closures due to the fire?
The Elk Springs subdivision in Montezuma County (Road 46 and G.3) is under mandatory evacuation. The Cherry Creek road in La Plata County is also being evacuated.

Where can I get more information?


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