Pine Tree Fire update: Burn operations to continue today


Special to The SUN

Firefighters were able to contain 80 percent of the Pine Tree Fire area yesterday and successfully used aerial ignition operations to carry the fire bringing the total acreage burned to 530 acres.

However, a few blocks of unburned vegetation remain, which firefighters will burn out using hand ignition methods today. Those methods include a couple different types of pistols that they can shoot the plastic spheres filled with potassium permanganate out of, as well as a drip torch.

Fire managers hope to wrap up the burning operations today with monitoring and mop-up operations to occur over the next one to two days.

Clouds have been increasing over the area though no precipitation has fallen. The forecast calls for extended cloudiness with an increasing chance of precipitation for the remainder of the week. Smoke will be continue to be visible along the U.S. 160 and Colo. 151 corridors as well as the Buck Highway out of Ignacio; however, it should be considerably less than yesterday’s smoke due to fewer acres being burned.

The San Juan National Forest, Columbine Wildland Fire Module of 9 people was released last night to go to another fire; additional resources will be released when they are no longer needed. There are currently about 76 personnel, several engines and a helicopter supporting the fire.

There are no closures in effect; however, the public is urged to avoid the Ignacio Canyon road if possible, as fire vehicles will be using this road.

For more information regarding the fire, please contact the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Fire Management Office at (970) 563-4571 or Fire Information at 970-799-2926.