The San Juan National Forest released the following update regarding the Bear Creek and Quartz Ridge fires Friday afternoon:
Highlights: Fire activity and smoke production for both fires increased yesterday due to drier and windier conditions, along with temperature rise. Fire growth and increased wildfire smoke is expected to persist in the area similar to yesterday, as near-critical fire weather conditions continue. The relative humidity recovery overnight was extremely poor, starting today’s operational period very dry. The Incident Commander will transition from Nick Collard to Nate Hallam, however the same objectives and operational tempo will remain in place.
Quartz Ridge Fire: 2,384 acres, increase of 286 acreages | 77% of objectives achieved | 64 personnel assigned
The Quartz Ridge Fire saw an increase of activity with a total increase of 286 acres. Yesterday, the southern/southeastern portion of the fire was the hottest, producing much of the smoke seen by the public. Firefighting personnel completed recon of Elwood Pass Road and looked at structure protection, cleanup, and prep at McCormack Cabin.
Bear Creek Fire: 779 acres, increase of 141 acreages | 83% of objectives achieved | 22 personnel assigned
The Bear Creek Fire saw an increase of activity with a total increase of 141 acres. Yesterday, personnel received fire hose, pumps, and portable water tanks and will continue today reestablishing equipment in the Weminuche Valley for structure protection operations.
Weather: Today, the area will reach near critical fire weather conditions again. High temperatures will range from the mid-60s to upper-70s, with afternoon humidity dipping around 15%. Winds speeds will be lighter than they have been the last couple of days, but southwest gusts approaching 20 mph are possible at the ridgetops. Moving to through the weekend, some moisture is expected across the area, although only light showers and slight chance of thunderstorms, particularly on Sunday.
Closure orders are in effect and additional information can be found here: Quartz Ridge Closure and Bear Creek Closure. Roads and trails within the Quartz Fire area are Quartz Meadows Road (NFSR#684), Quartz Ridge Trail (NFST#570), Quartz Creek Trail (NFST#571). The trails within the Bear Creek Fire area are Little Sand Trail (NFST #591) and Shaw Creek Trail (NFST#584).