Pine Tree Fire on Southern Ute land

Firefighting crews from Telluride, Durango and Ignacio, Colo. were on hand to manage the Pine Tree Fire that was ignited on Thursday, July 26 by a lightning strike in the southwest area of Archuleta county on the Southern Ute Reservation. Crews are expected to leave Thursday, August 1 and are prepared to have the fire extinguished by the Los Pinos Fire Department.
Firefighting crews from Telluride, Durango and Ignacio, Colo. were on hand to manage the Pine Tree Fire that was ignited on Thursday, July 26 by a lightning strike in the southwest area of Archuleta county on the Southern Ute Reservation. Crews are expected to leave Thursday, August 1 and are prepared to have the fire extinguished by the Los Pinos Fire Department.
Howard Richards Jr. of the Bureau of Indian Affairs Southern Ute Agency helps firefighting crews with their operations on the Southern Ute Reservation Pine Tree Fire on Tuesday, July 30.
McKayla Lee | The Southern Ute Drum
McKayla Lee | The Southern Ute Drum
McKayla Lee | The Southern Ute Drum

Pine Tree Fire Update

Burn Operations to continue

Staff report, Durango Interagency Type 3 Team

Firefighters were able to contain 80% of the Pine Tree fire area yesterday and successfully used aerial ignition operations to carry the fire bringing the total acreage burned to 530 acres.

However, a few blocks of unburned vegetation remain which firefighters will burn out using hand ignition methods today. Those methods include a couple different types of pistols that they can shoot the plastic spheres filled with potassium permanganate out of, as well as a drip torch.

Fire managers hope to wrap up the burning operations today with monitoring and mop-up operations to occur over the next 1-2 days.

Clouds have been increasing over the area though no precipitation has fallen. The forecast calls for extended cloudiness with an increasing chance of precipitation for the remainder of the week. Smoke will be continue to be visible along the Hwy 160 and 151 corridors as well as the Buck Highway out of Ignacio; however, it should be considerably less than yesterday’s smoke due to few acres being burned.

The San Juan National Forest, Columbine Wildland Fire Module of 9 people was released last night to go to another fire; additional resources will be released when they are no longer needed. There are currently about 76 personnel, several engines and a helicopter supporting the fire.

There are no closures in effect; however, the public is urged to avoid the Ignacio Canyon road if possible, as fire vehicles will be using this road.

For more information regarding the fire, please contact the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Fire Management Office at 970-563-4571 or Fire Information at 970-799-2926.

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