The fire is 20% contained as of 9:30 this morning, though officials expect high fire activity today. Areas of the fire are burning in fuels that are 20-30% beetle-killed trees. The cause remains under investigation. As of last night, about 20 structures have been lost.
Official press release from 9:30 AM:
Cañon City, Colo. – Management of the Royal Gorge Fire has transitioned to the Rocky Mountain Area Incident Management Team B. The team will host a 7 p.m. public meeting today, Thursday, at the Cañon City High School, 1313 College Avenue.
Yesterday the fire was active along the western flank. Fire managers felt that good progress was made along the eastern flank, and as a result the fire is now estimated to be 20 percent contained. High fire activity is expected today with anticipated weather conditions. Areas of the fire are burning in fuels that are 20 to 30 percent beetle-killed trees.
“Our goal is to strengthen our containment lines and to keep this fire south of Highway 50,” said Dan Dallas, RMIMT2 Incident Commander. “In addition to providing for public and firefighter safety, we recognize the impact this fire has had on this community and are dedicated to reducing those impacts as quickly as possible.”
Fire fighters will continue constructing line along the fire’s perimeter, and continue structure protection south of U.S. HWY 50. Approximately 136 people are on the fire with more resources scheduled to arrive throughout the day.
A Red Flag Warning has been issued for the area. This means that the temperatures and wind could lead to rapid fire growth. Today’s expected temperatures are 89 to 94 degrees, and the relative humidity is expected to be from 8 to 13 percent.
Stage 1 fire restrictions are in effect for lands in Fremont County, Cañon City, and the neighboring Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service lands.
A media tour will happen at 2 p.m. today. Media must be escorted and should meet at Veterans Park, off of U.S. HWY 50 in Cañon City.
Royal Gorge Fire Statistics at a Glance:
Time/Date Started: June 11, 2013 approximately 1 p.m.
Location: Fremont County, Colorado
Cause: Under Investigation
Fuels: Piñon –Juniper, Sage Brush
Size: 3,162 acres
Resources Committed: Rocky Mountain Area Incident Management Team B, 2 Single Engine Air Tankers, 1 Very Large Air tanker, 2 Type-1 crews, 2 Type-2 crews, 1 Type-1 helicopter, 1 Type 3-helicopter, 5 engines, 1 dozer, and 2 water tenders