Listen Live

Grizzly Creek Fire

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

In a normal year, a foot of snow in late October would mean the end of fire season. But with Western Colorado experiencing its driest summer on record, this year is anything but normal. As a result, the last remaining vestiges of the Grizzly Creek Fire are still smoldering.

Major wildfires have burned through the Western U.S. in 2020, breaking records for their scale and damage. As firefighters tamp down their immediate effects, those who live nearby are coming to grips with the lingering danger of wildfires. Even long after the flames are gone, residents face a serious increase in the threat of flooding.

Grizzly Creek Fire Facebook Page

A recent study from the University of Colorado Boulder found that forests in the southern Rocky Mountains are becoming less resilient in the wake of wildfires. 

“In the last fifty years, fires have, on average, become larger. And with larger fires, we have larger areas that are tree-less,” said the lead author of the study Kyle Rodman.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

More than a million federal dollars could be sent to Glenwood Springs for emergency builds around watershed infrastructure. The National Resources Conservation Service approved the first batch of $5 million in Emergency Watershed Protection funds last week, with funding headed to Garfield, Mesa, Larimer and Grand Counties. 

Colorado Center of Excellence for Advanced Technology Aerial Firefighting

Firefighters working on the Grizzly Creek Fire that sparked over four weeks ago in Glenwood Canyon have been using new technology to help them. This includes everything from drones that drop small plastic spheres known as Dragon Eggs that contain potassium permanganate for burn operations to mapping software that allows aircraft to superimpose infrared footage with topographical maps to more precisely detect the fire perimeter and new burn activity. 

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Imagine you’re sitting at home one day and the notice comes in – a wildfire is bearing down on your house and you have to evacuate. In the course of the next few minutes, you have a to pack a bag and hit the road. What do you bring? 

As of Wednesday, Aug. 26, the Grizzly Creek Fire that sparked more than two weeks ago has burned roughly 32,000 acres and is 61% contained.

 

A recently formed coalition of local government, nonprofits and businesses called the Glenwood Canyon Restoration Alliance has plans to raise funds for wildfire restoration. Their work will include planting trees and rebuilding trails at Hanging Lake and other areas that were destroyed in the fire.

U.S. Forest Service

Pueden encontrar la versión en español aqui.

The Grizzly Creek Fire is more than 29,000 acres and still growing. A wildfire that size requires a lot of people power and equipment, but with dozens of fires burning across the west, how do national fire agencies divvy up resources to the people who need them?

U.S. Forest Service

It’s been a week since the Grizzly Creek Fire first sparked in Glenwood Canyon. In the last seven days, the fire has burned 25,007 acres and is 0% contained. There were no new evacuation orders announced over the weekend, and as of Sunday, nearly 650 people were battling the fire. 

Grizzly Creek Fire

The Aspen Public Radio news team spoke with Grizzly Creek Fire Public Information Officer Jennifer Russell and Renelle Lott of Garfield County, and compiled a list of resources and answers to listeners' questions regarding the Grizzly Creek Fire, which sparked in Glenwood Canyon on Monday, August 10. A time-stamped updates page regarding the fire can be found here.

Courtesy of Charlotte Hanks / Defiance Rafting Company

Everyone within sight of Glenwood Canyon on Monday knew there was trouble brewing. A tremendous plume of smoke shooting up into the midday sky was not a good sign during a historically hot and dry summer.

Grizzly Creek Fire Facebook Page

Wednesday, September 9 3 P.M. Moisture has helped further moderate the fire. Personnel are mostly away from fire lines until conditions on the ground dry to allow better access. Suppression and suppression repair activities will resume as conditions dry. Managers anticipate those conditions to happen over the weekend.