By Mike Blakeman
A wildland fire, called the Park Creek Fire, is burning in grass and spruce-fir forest above Park Creek about eight miles southwest of South Fork on the Rio Grande National Forest. As of 7 p.m., the fire was estimated to be 50 acres in size with active fire behavior.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Closures include Forest Service Road 390 (Pass Creek); FSR 380 (Park Creek) from U.S. 160 to the intersection with FSR 390; FSR (Beaver Creek) from Lower Beaver Creek Campground to Poage Lake.
Additionally, the entire area inside the boundaries of these roads has been evacuated and closed.
U.S. 160 is still open, but the public is advised to only use the road for through travel to prevent congestion, as fire and emergency vehicles will be using the highway.
A temporary flight restriction has been put in place over the closure area. Flying drones in the area is prohibited by law and will ground air resources.
On the ground firefighting resources at the scene include South Fork Volunteer Fire Department, Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control, the San Luis Valley Interagency Fire Management Unit and an eight person smoke jumper crew. Air resources include a Type 1 helicopter, a Type 2 helicopter, two single engine air tankers and two heavy air tankers. Additional ground resources have been ordered including six engines.
The fire is expected to stay active tonight due to predicted low relative humidity. A Red Flag Warning is in effect tomorrow with wind gusts up to 30 miles per hour. Stage I fire restrictions are in place. Visit the Rio Grande National Forest website for information on the fire restrictions at https://www.fs.usda.gov/riogrande.