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SUN photo/Terri House
Finally ... snow in Pagosa Country. Snow fell Thursday night in the area, with some accumulation at lower elevations, and enough at higher elevations to put a damper on the Coal Creek Fire and give winter sports enthusiasts reason for good cheer. Precipitation is predicted through Sunday morning, with frigid nighttime lows expected as wintry weather makes its first appearance of the season.
Rain and snow quell Coal Creek Fire

Snow and rain that entered the area Thursday evening helped dampen the Coal Creek Fire burning northeast of Pagosa Springs. 

 As of yesterday , the fire had grown minimally and is not likely to grow any further with the moisture received yesterday evening.  Incident Commander Ryan Vincent described the conditions near the fire as, “wet and soupy”. 

 Temporary trail closure signs will be removed today and the trail will be opened. 

 The Type 3 helicopter was released this morning, and more moisture is predicted through the weekend.  This will be the last and final update, pending no significant changes. 

 Any future updates will be posted on the Archuleta County emergency information site www.acemergency.org

Coal Creek Fire continues to burn, now 127 acres
The Coal Creek Fire, now at 127 acres, continues to burn in leaf litter within an aspen stand northeast of Pagosa Springs.

The fire is low burning, with one- to three-foot flame lengths. Fire managers will continue utilizing helicopters as needed to suppress the fire.

There is still no threat to private property or structures.

Winds are expected tomorrow in front of a system that is forecasted to bring moisture to the area Thursday evening through the end of the week.

For safety purposes, the Coal Creek Trail will be temporarily closed to recreation activity.

Check for fire updates on the Archuleta County Emergency information site www.acemergency.org.

Coal Creek Fire estimated at 66 acres

The Coal Creek Fire, discovered Sunday afternoon, continues to burn approximately seven miles northeast of Pagosa Springs, entirely on National Forest lands in leaf litter.  

The cause of the fire is unknown, but is currently under investigation.   

The fire is burning approximately 1.5 miles northeast of private property and no structures are threatened at this time.

An infrared flight Monday night estimated the fire at 66 acres. The fire continues to be monitored and suppressed by air support as needed.  Crews are being utilized to assess suppression tactics, but are not currently building line due the steep, rugged nature and inaccessibility of the terrain. Due the limited access, no line has been built, and there is currently no containment on the fire.  

Some moisture is expected at the end of the week, however, it is very important to remain cognizant of the hot dry conditions when utilizing fire in the backcountry.

Wildland fire burns southeast of Pagosa Springs

A fire is burning in the area of Coal Creek, southeast of Pagosa Springs, and is visible from town.

The fire is on U.S. Forest Service Land and was estimated at 10 acres late Sunday afternoon, according to ACEmergency.org.

Due to inaccessibility, air support is being used to fight the blaze, which is surrounded by rock and shows no threat to Pagosa Springs, according to the website.

People are urged to not call 911 when they see smoke from this fire.

randi@pagosasun.com

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