Gusty winds and warm temperatures have increased the size of the Granite Lake Fire in a remote area of the Hunter-Fryingpan Wilderness. The Upper Colorado River Fire and Aviation Managment unit says the fire now covers 695 acres.
Because of increased fire activity, the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District has issued an emergency area closure for public safety of National Forest System Road 504 into the South Fork of the Fryingpan and the South Fork Pass Trail 1940 beginning Monday.
The fire is not threatening any structures at this time and will likely burn and smolder until a season-ending event occurs -- like heavy rain or snow.
Smoke may be visible in the coming weeks from Summit County, the Homestake Valley in Eagle County, Leadville in Lake County, and parts of the upper Fryingpan and Roaring Fork Valleys in Pitkin County.
A Red Flag Warning is in effect from Noon to 7p.m. Tuesday in the Roaring Fork Valley and surrounding areas.
A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire and weather conditions are either occuring now, or will shortly. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and and warm temperatures all can contribute to extreme fire events.