Leadville News – June 11

Smoky Skies Signal Bocco Wildfire

Bocco Fire_Wildfire eagle county

Crews fight the Bocco Wildfire which ignited on Saturday, June 9 in neighboring Eagle County. Photo: Eagle County Sheriff’s Office.

Residents in Leadville Today could begin to see some smoke in the skies being carried over from the Bocco Fire in neighboring Eagle County. And with that haze, backcountry travelers may also find some travel restrictions in place. Please be situational aware and remain vigilant.

11 a.m. on June 12 Update

Bocco Fire containment reaches 50 percent; crews continue securing fire perimeter  Summary: Crews are continuing with mop-up operations and extinguishing any hot spots along the perimeter that could threaten existing containment lines. Fire behavior continues to be minimal with occasional smoldering and smoking from the interior of the fire perimeter.

“Smoke and dust will continue to be visible in the coming days,” said Jeremy Spetter, Incident Commander. “There are still smoldering hot spots within the fire perimeter that may continue to produce smoke; we are being very diligent with our work because of continued weather conditions.”

Conditions will continue to be hot and dry through Tuesday much of the week. 

Due to the steady progress made over the last two days, the Type 3 Incident Management Team will be transitioning management of the fire at the end of today’s operational period to a local Type 4 Incident Management Team. Firefighters will continue to patrol and secure the line throughout the week. Although there could be some fire activity within the perimeter if conditions are right, the likelihood of the fire threatening communities is low.

This will be the last update from the Type 3 Incident Management Team. For further updates on the Bocco Fire please contact the Colorado River Valley Field Office at 970-876-9000 located at 2300 River Frontage Road Silt, CO 81652. Updates will also continue to be posted to the Eagle County Sheriff’s Facebook and Twitter pages listed below.

Wildfire Smoke Haze Mt Elbert_Leadville Today

Early morning hours in Leadville Today (June 12) saw a low-lying haze that had settled into the valleys overnight from the nearby #BoccoFire in Eagle County.

11 a.m. UPDATE on Monday, June 11

** Evacuations to be lifted this afternoon for Bocco Fire; containment reaches 20 percent **

Summary: Despite critical fire weather on Sunday, crews and air resources were able to hold the fire to the west of Highway 131, to the south of Alkali Creek Road and to the north of Horse Mountain Road. Today, the fire is expected to back and creep towards existing containment lines on the north flank of the fire. Crews will continue mopping up and extinguishing any hot spots along the south and west edges of the existing perimeter. 

“We’re working hard to limit new fire growth to the north by strengthening existing containment lines,” said Incident Commander, Jeremy Spetter. “Weather permitting, we’ll be able to keep gaining on this one.” 

Yesterday, air operations were suspended due to an Unmanned Air System (UAS) flying in the vicinity of the fire. Unauthorized drone flights pose serious risks to firefighter and public safety and the effectiveness of wildfire suppression operations. Fire managers would like to remind the public; if you fly, we can’t. 

While slightly higher humidity is predicted, conditions will still be dry, hot, and breezy through Monday.

Smoke: Smoke is anticipated to be less today and will likely disperse to the east along the I-70 corridor.

Evacuations: The evacuation order remains in place for all persons living, working, or travelling in the vicinity of Alkali Creek Neighborhood. This evacuation order will remain in effect until 1:00 p.m. this afternoon (June 11, 2018). Residents of this area will be able to return to their homes after 1:00 p.m. Power has been restored to this area. 

Please keep in mind that this fire is not fully contained and an evacuation alert is still in place. Residents should be ready to leave at a moment’s notice. 

Closures: Highway 131 is currently open, but may close if needed for fire suppression efforts and public safety. Access to the Eagle County Landfill will remain open even if Highway 131 is closed. 

Milk Creek Road and Horse Mountain Road are currently open. Please be aware that segments of Horse Mountain Road are being used for fire operations and emergency vehicles may be present on the road way. 

Initial Report: 8 a.m. on Monday, June 11 

While crews got a quick, clean jump on the wildfire situation which ignited on Saturday, June 9 in the Bocco Hill area, today could prove to be challenging as the situation heats up headed into day three. Within two hours of an initial smoke report on Saturday June 9, five tankers and multiple other air and ground resources responded to the Bocco Fire located three miles northwest of Wolcott, Colo. Overnight, handcrews successfully held the fire to the west of Highway 131.

According to Eagle County Emergency officials, with the return of critical fire weather conditions, firefighters and multiple air resources will continue to build fireline and engage the fire when it is safe to do so. However, Monday’s predicted single digit humidity and high winds could lead to rapid fire growth and extreme fire behavior. Firefighters will use existing roads, dozer lines, water drops and natural features wherever possible to limit future fire spread in the area.

“A great initial response from federal, state, and local partners limited growth in important recreation and sage grouse habitat areas,” said Gloria Tibbetts, Acting Field Manager of the BLM Colorado River Valley Field Office. “In the face of critical fire weather, we’ll continue to put firefighter and public safety first- engaging the fire where we can safely do so to stop its spread.”

Bocco Fire_Wildfire eagle county sheriff

Eagle County Emergency Officials have issued an evacuation order for all persons living, working, or travelling in the vicinity of Alkali Creek Neighborhood. Photo: Eagle County Sheriff’s Office.

Responders on Saturday, June 9 included Eagle County, Greater Eagle Fire Protection District, Eagle River Fire Protection District, Gypsum Fire Protection District, Vail Fire Department, Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control, USDA Forest Service, and Bureau of Land Management. 

Here are the particulars as provided by the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office.

Smoke: Smoke from today’s fire activity will spread to the east along the I-70 corridor. For more information on smoke and air quality please CONNECT HERE: https://www.colorado.gov/airquality/colo_advisory.aspx

Evacuations: Effective immediately, and extending until further notice, Eagle County Emergency Officials have issued an evacuation order for all persons living, working, or travelling in the vicinity of Alkali Creek Neighborhood. This area is at immediate risk from wildfire. Please follow the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office for up to date information on the status of evacuations by searching @EagleCountySO on facebook or twitter.

There are approximately 37 structures threatened to the north of the fire including homes, outbuildings, and ranch infrastructure. There have been no reported loss or damages to structures at this time. 

Closures: Highway 131 is currently open, but may close if needed for fire suppression efforts and public safety. Access to the Eagle County Landfill will remain open even if Highway 131 is closed.

STAY CONNECTED: Fire Information for Bocco Fire

  • Inciweb: inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5835
  • Text Message: text “follow EagleCountySO” to 40404
  • Facebook: @EagleCountySO
  • Twitter: @EagleCountySO
  • Fire Information Phone: 970-414-0843
  • #BoccoFire

Bocco Wildfire_Eagle County_Leadville Today

 

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