Current situation: The Sand Creek Fire was unaffected by winds moving over the area on Friday. The fire remains at 71 acres. Green grass and live vegetation have helped limit the fire’s growth as it creeps through heavy fallen trees. On Saturday, dry thunderstorms are again expected in the area. Firefighting resources remain engaged with the Sand Creek Fire and will be finalizing the Weminuche Valley structure assessment.
Weather and fuel conditions: Isolated thunderstorms with very little rainfall are anticipated Saturday afternoon. These storms could possibly bring strong winds and frequent lightning to areas north and east of the Sand Creek Fire. Afternoon temperatures are expected to be in the 70s and humidity will fall to near 15 percent.
Evacuations and closures: A forest closure is in effect around the fire area. The full text and a map of the closure can be found at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/closures/6790/. The Piedra River Trail (596), Little Sand Creek Trail (591), Lower Weminuche Trail (595), Coldwater Trail (597), and Coldwater Stock Trail (598) are all presently open. The Sand Creek Trail (593) and North Ridge Trail (594) are the only trails that are closed at this time. Mosca Road, NFSR 631 is also closed within the fire area. NFSR 631 east of the fire area is restricted to local traffic only. Please see today’s map for the extent of the Mosca Road closures and restrictions.
Smoke outlook: An air quality monitor is set up in the vicinity of Piedra, where U.S. 160 crosses the Piedra River. Air quality at that location is anticipated to be good this morning, and is predicted to remain good across the outlook area through the weekend and into the first part of the week. Smoke from Arizona fires continues to drift into southwestern Colorado, and may be noticed as slight haze.Information on air quality and a smoke forecast for the area can be found at https://fires.airfire.org/outlooks/SWColorado.
Fire restrictions: Fire danger across the region is rated as extreme. Fire restrictions are in place on the San Juan National Forest. Archuleta County and Hinsdale County have both enacted Stage 1 Fire Restrictions.
Temporary flight restrictions: A temporary flight restriction is in place over the Sand Creek Fire. Wildfires are a No Drone Zone. If you fly, we can’t. Every time a drone is spotted near the fire all aircraft are grounded until we can be sure the drone is clear of the area. For more information, visit http://knowbeforeyoufly.org.