Pine Gulch Fire Near Grand Junction Continues To Spread

August 8, 2020
Firefighters are silhouetted by flames as they work to contain the Pine Gulch Fire north of Grand Junction, August 6, 2020.Firefighters are silhouetted by flames as they work to contain the Pine Gulch Fire north of Grand Junction, August 6, 2020.Courtesy of Incident Information System
Firefighters are silhouetted by flames as they work to contain the Pine Gulch Fire north of Grand Junction, August 6, 2020.

The Pine Gulch fire 18 miles north of Grand Junction now covers more than 20,000 acres, as of Saturday morning. It's still zero percent contained.

The fire has grown by around 7,000 acres since Friday morning.

466 personnel are working on the Pine Gulch Fire. They're up against hot weather, single-digit humidity and a possibility of gusty winds in the afternoon. The federally-run site Inciweb warns in its Saturday morning update: "If winds and slope align over the fire, there is a possibility for extreme fire behavior again today. "

The lightning-caused fire has been burning since July 31st in open space along the Mesa and Garfield county lines. There are no evacuations in place currently.

Both counties are under Stage 1 fire restrictions, and the National Weather Service has issued an Air Quality Alert because of heavy smoke near the fire. The smell of smoke is in the air in Grand Junction.

Fire conditions have been worsening statewide, with all of Colorado now in some stage of drought. Much of the Western Slope has reached the two worst stages, Extreme or Exceptional drought.