The fire continued to advance slowly in most areas. The greatest fire activity was in the southwest corner of the fire where it created three small spot fires across the Piedra River. These spots were treated by heavy helicopters and had not moved at nightfall. The fire had little activity west of the Weminuche Valley and continued to move slowly down the ridge above the Poma Ranch. On the west side, the fire did not move across the top of the Coldwater ridge between the Sand Creek and Coldwater Creek drainages. The fire did not advance towards the community of Vallecitos west of Slide Mountain.
Fire weather conditions will moderate Monday with scattered clouds and a reduced chance of thunder storms. Winds are predicted to push the fire from the southwest with the potential of erratic winds in the presents of thunder cells. The day will be warm with temperatures in the upper 80’s; humidity will be 9 to 14 percent with good moisture recovery expected in the evening hours.
Today, fire fighters priorities will be protecting the structures in the Weminuche Valley, keeping the fire from advancing to the east and crossing the Weminuche drainage, and keeping the fire north of the Piedra River. Fire activity possesses the greatest threat in the Piedra drainage due to the possibility of spotting south of the river. This portion of the river is dominated by steep canyon walls making access difficult. Water drops from helicopters will be utilized to slow the advance of the fire front and to treat spot fires. The fire is not expected to move rapidly in either the Weminuche or Sand Creek areas. Firefighters will also look for opportunities to engage the fire to the west and northwest. Protection measures have been placed around the Granite Creek Guard Stations and the crew is being withdrawn for reassignment to other duties on the fire.
Smoke will continue to be a problem in low lying areas adjacent to the fire during the evening hours. Inversions will lift by mid-day to allow better smoke dispersal. Links are provided on the Inciweb site to smoke monitors located at the Sportsmans Campground area and Piedra River, the State air quality site, and smoke health information.
Poison Park Road (FR 644) remains closed to non-emergency traffic until further notice. The Piedra River Road (FR 631) to Poma Ranch is closed at the “Y”. A closure has been placed on an area to the north of the junction of the Piedra River and Coldwater Creek. The closure includes adjacent trails. Details on the closure may be found on the fire’s Inciweb site. There are no closures in the Vallecitos area.
Day-use recreation areas near Williams Lake, and other Forest Service campgrounds in the area, remain open to the public. Private campgrounds and businesses in the Piedra area are also open. Guides and outfitters who normally work in the area around the fire have rerouted trips and are still in operation. Pagosa Springs and the Vallecito area are open for business as usual.