Channel 5 Weather
Red Flag Through Thursday
Ward Gulch Wildfire- This fire was reported at 11:30 a.m. Friday and continues to burn 3 miles north of Rifle Gap Reservoir. Firefighters have made significant progress on the burn. Highway 325 is now open to motorists. In addition, closures to Rifle Falls State Park and Rifle Fish Hatchery are now lifted. Rifle Gap State Park is now open for boating, however the swimming beach located on the west end of the lake is still closed due to ongoing firefighting efforts. Evacuated residents are also allowed to return home. 200 personnel are currently working on the 485 acre wildfire. The fire is 95% contained as of Tuesday evening. No structures are immediately threatened at this time.
Black Forest Wildfire- It is hard to imagine a fire more destructive than the Waldo Canyon Wildfire last year, but the Black Forest Wildfire brought what seemed like impossibility to real life. The Black Forest Fire has burned 482 structures, forcing the evacuations for thousands of people. This fire began last Tuesday, just northeast of Colorado Springs. This fire showed explosive growth from the onset. Wind fanned flames on the first day of the fire during Red Flag conditions. So far the fire has burned 14,280 acres and is at 85% containment. The good news is, firefighters have gotten a good enough handle on the fire, they are beginning to release some resources from the scene. The fire continues to burn timber including Ponderosa Pine plus grass and Oak Shrubs.
As of Tuesday, areas east of Volmmer Road and North of Burgess Road will be allowed back into their homes and downgraded to pre-evacuation status. The following roads will grant access to these areas:
- Walker Road, Murphy Road, Hodgen Road, Latigo Road, Vollmer Road, Raygor Rd, Meridian Rd.
Officials say, residents trying to re-enter their homes will need to show their driver's license or registration. Also, officials are telling homeowners to leave flags on their property because they signal emergency responders the area has been cleared for re-entry.
Fire crews say this afternoon; they will continue to mop up hot spots, especially near structures. Gusty winds this afternoon will make it possible for a re-burn scenario in hot spots within the burn perimeter.
The El Paso County Sheriff's Office and Pike Peak Regional Building Department will continue damage assessment on structure in the fire area.
966 personnel are working on the blaze. Officials anticipate the fire will not be 100% contained until Thursday, June 20.
Royal Gorge Wildfire- At last report, this wildfire remains at 100% contained. The fire burned a total of 3,218 acres. Most of this fire burned on City of Cañon property (2,156 acres); with additional acreage on private lands (561 acres) as well as lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (501 acres). The fire consumed 48 commercial structures belonging to the Royal Gorge. No homes were destroyed during this fire. Smoke may still be visible in the area due to pockets of unburned fuel inside the containment lines. The fire was reported at 1 p.m. last Tuesday, just south of the Royal Bridge and Arkansas River. Investigation into the fire continues. Local authorities are now monitoring the fire.
Big Meadows Fire- This fire began last Monday afternoon from a lightning strike, 5 miles north of Grand Lake inside Rocky Mountain National Park. The 604 acre fire was 95% contained as of Tuesday night. The fire continues to burn beetle kill timber and forest litter. There are no evacuations in place since no communities or structures are threatened. The Onahu Trail, the Green Mountain Trail, and the lower Tonahutu Trail remain closed, but the Tonahutu Spur Trail, the Grand Lake Lodge Spur Trail, and the Timber Lake Trail are now open. All major roads in Rocky Mountain National Park are open as well. A phone line has been set up for additional information at (970) 586-381.
We will continue to keep you updated on these fires as more information becomes available.
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