Bull Draw Fire burns 27,320 acres and is only 21 percent contained
Brian Pisarek, Incident Commander
Bull Draw Fire Statistics:
Start Date: July 29, 2018
Location: 12 miles northwest of Nucla, Colo.
Size: 27,320 acres
Percent Contained: 21 percent
Total Personnel: 455
Yesterday, the fire grew 950 acres. Most of this growth was a result of the fire pushing further north into Deep Canyon, Willow Canyon and Beaver Branch. Today, upslope afternoon winds will facilitate the fire’s continuing northerly spread.
Bureau of Land Management and National Forest lands, roads and trails affected by the Bull Draw Fire are closed to public use. Today, the closure area is being expanded. Along with this update you will find the expanded Closure Order for BLM lands. The expanded closure order for National Forest lands will be forthcoming.
For early season hunters in Unit 61 who may be impacted by the Bull Draw Fire: If you have questions regarding your early season license options you can contact Colorado Parks & Wildlife at the Montrose office at (970) 252-6000.
On Friday, the BLM, U.S. Forest Service and unincorporated lands within Montrose County will be implementing Stage 1 Fire Restrictions. Unincorporated Mesa County remains in Stage 1 Fire Restrictions. Further information about fire restrictions will be released later today. Mesa County fire info: https://bit.ly/2MkFcQc For Montrose County fire info: https://bit.ly/2PgT3t9.
Today’s weather outlook is for partly to mostly cloudy skies with a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Afternoon winds will be 5-10 mph from the west to northwest, with gusts up to 15 mph. Temperatures are expected to reach the low 80s on the ridge tops and upper 80s in the valleys. The relative humidity will drop to 17-22 percent this afternoon.
STARVING THE FIRE
A masticator will be removing some unburned vegetation below the Campbell Point homes to lessen avenues for fire to again threaten the homes. Masticators are tracked pieces of equipment that can grind a standing 30-foot tree into chips in less than a minute. This, combined with “burnout” operations north of the homes, will complete our successful efforts to protect this group of homes.
When it is unsafe to build control lines directly on the fire’s edge, “indirect” control lines are built some distance away, often incorporating roads and natural fire barriers. “Burnouts” are only conducted when winds and other factors are favorable for directing the resulting heat and embers away from the control line. Once the vegetation adjacent to the indirect control line has been burned, it starves the approaching main fire of fuel, effectively stopping its spread.
Weather permitting, “burnout” operations will be conducted along the Divide Road from its junction with the Z 8 Road south to Monument Hill. A helicopter carrying a torch, which drops liquefied burning gel, will be used to “burnout” the unburned vegetation between the fire’s edge and our “indirect” control line along the Divide Road.
On the southeastern flank of the fire, a masticator pushed a fireline about three quarters of a mile down a spur ridge off the west side of the Divide Road. Yesterday, Hotshot crews extended their fireline around the southeastern corner of the fire’s perimeter. Today, these same Hotshot crews will be working downslope from the masticator fireline and upslope from the old 2004 Campbell fire scar in very rugged terrain. They anticipate closing the half-mile gap between the two firelines later today.
Public health info: Smoke from various fires around the state of Colorado and other western states will continue to impact this area. For a detailed daily air quality summary, visit: https://www.colorado.gov/airquality/colorado_summary.aspx.
Information Center: (970) 578-0213 (hours of operation: 8 a.m.-8 p.m.)
For recorded info on area wildfires: (970) 240-1070 (BLM Southwest Colorado Fire and Aviation Management Unit Information Line), and (970) 874-6602 (GMUG Fire Information) which includes information on Forest Service road closures
Media Information Line: (720) 593-9939.