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Red Canyon Wildfire Sparks South of Glenwood Springs

Aug 16, 2013

UDATE: August 16th, 2013 - 9:00pm

The fire is 100% contained and management of the blaze will be returned to local agencies early tomorrow morning. The evacuation order for residents who live on the backside of Lookout Mountain, has been lifted. Over the weekend, crews will continue to monitor for hot spots and rehab fire lines. Red Canyon Road (County Road 115) remains closed to traffic. Two minor injuries were reported on the fire today. One firefighter was treated for heat exhaustion and another individual received stitches on a cut. The cost of fighting the fire is over $1 million.

UPDATE: August 15th, 2013 - 8:25pm

The Red Canyon Fire is now 75% contained and evacuees will be able to return home tomorrow. Between 15 and 20 homes were evacuated Tuesday on the backside of Lookout Mountain. The residents will be allowed back into the area at 9am tomorrow, although electricity likely won't be activated until later in the day. Red Canyon Road (County Road 115) will be closed to all traffic except for residents of the area. The fire did not grow today. It remains at just under 400 acres.

UPDATE: August 15th, 2013 - 12:37pm

Aggressive firefighting and favorable weather have helped crews get a handle on the Red Canyon Fire. There was no growth overnight, so the fire is currently 390 acres and 27% contained. Winds associated with thunder cells could increase fire activity this afternoon. Still, fire officials say they think the fire could be 95% contained over the next few days. They're working to get it under control before the weekend brings warmer temperatures.

UPDATE: August 14th, 2013 - 9:40pm

 The Red Canyon Fire did not see any growth today. Improved mapping now puts the acreage of the blaze at 390 acres. It's 27% contained. Today, favorable weather and additional resources helped the effort. Two helicopters dipping buckets into a nearby water source and dumping them on the fire, were particularly helpful. Cloud cover throughout the day also kept the fire calm, so it was easier to manage. Fire crews on the ground were digging fire lines around the blaze. A total of 211 personnel were helping on the ground and in the air. No new evacuations have been issued. The 15-20 households evacuated on the backside of Lookout Mountain Tuesday remain evacuated, as firefighters work to protect those structures.

UPDATE: August 14th, 2013 - 2:03pm

No new evacuations have been ordered at this point. Yesterday 15 - 20 households located on the backside of Lookout Mountain were evacuated. The Rocky Mountain Area Incident Management Team has taken over management of the fire. About 40 additional on-the-ground firefighters were added to the fleet of firefighters already battling the blaze. Additional crews area en route to the fire. About 20 local fire engines are also aiding the fight today, as well as two single engine air tankers, two helicopters and one large air tanker. The fire is located off of the windy, gravel Red Canyon Road, which remains closed to traffic.

Here's a time-lapse video of the Red Canyon Fire created by Manik Giri.

UPDATE: August 14th, 2013 - 10:57am

Approximate size of the fire is now 350 acres and is located about three miles south/southeast of Glenwood Springs. About 100 people are fighting the fire which is now listed as 10% contained. Some evacuations have taken place as about 15-20 structures are being threatened by the fire.

UPDATE: August 13th, 2013 - 5:44pm

Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen speaks with All Things Considered host Rob St. Mary about the latest updates on the Red Canyon fire, what she's seen doing the day and the effort to contain this wildfire between Carbondale and Glenwood Springs.

UPDATE: August 13th, 2013 - 3:53pm

Garfield county authorities have released the latest information about the Red Canyon wildfire.

They say the fire is being fought primarily from the air because the terrain and the ingress and egress routes around the scene. Three single engine air tankers and another fire plane is dropping fire retardant between the fire and the city of Glenwood Springs. There are also ground crews numbering about 6o that continue to work around the edges of the area and the fire.  Garfield County authorizes say six fire jumpers are on scene and additional ground crews are expected to arrive this evening. This afternoon the winds have kicked up a bit causing concern and extra precautions to be taken to protect those fighting the fire and the public.

UPDATE: August 13th, 2013 - 12:41pm

Garfield County authorities say the Red Canyon fire is now estimated at 207 acres. The fire has not been contained at this time. Air attack on the fire is taking place along with approximately 60 men and women fighting it on the ground. Fire authorities say the terrain is steep with juniper and pinyon pine fueling the fire. Additional support is expected to arrive later today. No evacuations have been ordered at this time although pre-evacuation alerts have been issued to area residences. Large animals can be sheltered at the Garfield County Fair and Rodeo Grounds in Rifle, but the owners must transport them there and arrange for feeding. No animal evacuations have been ordered.

UPDATE: August 13th, 2013 - 9:58am

The Red Canyon Wildfire is now estimated at 150 and 200 acres with zero percent containment. No structures have been burned. The next update is expected around the noon hour.

August 12th, 2013 - 10:07pm

A wildfire burning south of Glenwood Springs has grown to over 150 acres. The blaze at the top of Red Canyon Road started in juniper and pinion vegetation late Monday afternoon. It began as a 3-acre fire but quickly grew, pushed by strong winds. A Single Engine Air Tanker dropped two loads of slurry on the fire before dark. And, fire crews will monitor the fire overnight.

No injuries or reports of structures burned, have been reported. Around 7:30 pm pre-evacuation notices were sent to homeowners in the area. The Post Independent reports, some residents were evacuating on their own.

The fire is currently 0% contained, according to a press release from the Garfield County Sheriff's Office. This story will be updated.