3 Major Fires Keeping 10 Tanker Busy.
The past couple of weeks the Rocky Mountain Area has taken some heavy hits from wildfires. Last week alone, 5 wildfires were giving Colorado the heaviest smoke pollution it’s seen in years. 10 Tanker has been helping take down three of these fires.
Here’s a shot of Tanker 911 smoothly dropping down on Glenwood Canyon:
Grizzly Creek Fire
The "Grizzly Creek Fire", just east of Glenwood Springs has grown thousands of acres every day since it started on August 10.
Extreme fire behavior, and resistance to control are big factors
for federal fire agencies, when ranking priorities for national firefighting assets like air tankers, helicopters, hot shot crews and smokejumpers.
The "Grizzly Creek Fire" has proximity to homes in a challenging and critical area. This is only part of the reason it ranks as the nation’s top firefighting priority.
The Grizzly Creek wildfire is unique because ground crews can’t haul their hand tools up the steep canyon walls. They can’t venture into narrow side drainages where flames could trap them. That means they have to rely, on both air tankers and helicopters dumping fire retardant and water to help ground crews above the canyon.
At this time our tankers have completed 32 drops over the fire and are continuing to support ground crews to extinguish the blaze. According to Inciweb, the fire is considered 4% contained and 820 firefighters are assisting with the battle.
"Since the lightning-caused Pine Gulch Fire was discovered July 31 it has burned 11,846 acres 15 miles north of Grand Junction, Colorado. It was very active on Wednesday with most of the growth, an additional 6,161 acres, occurring on the northeast and northwest sides. The fire is expanding beyond lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management onto private property." -August 6, 2020, Bill Gabbert, WildFireToday.com
The Pine Gulch Fire become the 2nd largest wildfire in Colorado history after it grew to 125,088 acres in size on Wednesday, Aug 19th.
Williams Fork Fire
First reported just before noon Friday August 14. Driven by strong winds and low humidity, the Williams Fork Fire has grown to 9,427 acres with 3% containment.
There are no evacuation orders for residential areas in the Fraser Valley only a couple miles south of the fire. However, a series of alpine ridges and peaks lie between the fire and the Fraser Valley fifteen miles southwest of the blaze. As of this time Tankers 911, & 914 have dropped a combination of 65,800 gallons of retardant over Williams Fork Fire.