Lodgepole Fire on “Pipeline” North of Twin Lakes
Residents of Leadville and Twin Lakes are relieved to be waking up to blue skies this morning after yesterday’s ominous smoke billowed from the “Lodgepole Fire” located north of Forebay Reservoir, above Twin Lakes Village.
On Saturday, July 9 at approximately 2:37 p.m., a fire was reported about 8 miles south of Leadville at the base of Mt. Elbert on Forest Road 136. For locals the road is more most commonly known as the “Pipeline,” because it was an underground aqueduct which transports water from Turquoise Lake to Forebay and Twin Lakes.
According to US Forest Service Incident Commander – John Markalunas the fire was quiet overnight and is 50% contained and had affected 16 acres of grass, sagebrush and lodgepole pine. The fire is 100% on San Isabel National Forest. There have been no injuries and no personal damage reports. Additional resources arrive today to work on the fire until it is fully contained. Gusty winds today will be closely monitored for threats to the fire.
Smoke is likely to be visible, especially from US Highway 24, and the Mt. Massive Lakes subdivision, over the next few days. Fire managers prefer folks not report this smoke unless there is personal danger. Residents will also find that County Road which was closed during the heat of the battle yesterday is now re-opened. Highway 82 over Independence Pass to Aspen remains open and has not been affected by the incident. However, Forest Roads 130 and 136 remain closed, an important note for Leadville Trail 100 athletes who often train on these roads.
The plan for today, according to officials is to conduct burnout operations to secure and reinforce containment lines, continue to assess the fire perimeter’s integrity and mop up as needed. They encourage area visitors and residents to continue to refrain from using open flame during these frequent windy days the area has been experiencing.
According to Lake County Public Information Officer Laurel McHargue, the initial response consisted of Leadville/Lake County Fire brush trucks and Lake County Road and Bridge, Salida Fire, Chaffee County Fire, Red, White and Blue Fire, Copper Mountain Fire, Eagle River Fire, US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Colorado Department of Fire Prevention and Control, Lake County sheriff and Office of Emergency Management.They are also attacking the fire from the air with 3 type 6 helicopters.
Here’s another map of the Lodgepole Fire location from LCOEM