Incident: Little Sand Wildfire
Released: 8 min. ago
Conditions over the Little Sand Fire on Thursday resulted in very little fire spread. The exception was limited backing fire in the Davis Creek area along the Piedra River. All other areas of the fire remained unchanged. Personnel responded to a small lightning fire on Devil’s Mountain approximately three miles from the south edge of the Little Sand Fire and successfully contained the new start.
Weather over the fire will be warmer on Friday with more sun and lower humidity. A drying trend is predicted which may result in more active fire behavior than experienced the last few days. Fire crews will continue to provide for structure protection in the Weminuche Valley, and watch for spot fires south of the Piedra River. A contingency fire line along the east side of the Weminuche Valley is being prepared in case the fire moves across the Valley. Crews will also be watching for new lightning fires from storm activity Thursday evening northeast of the fire.
One area of concern to fire managers is the early morning smoke inversion that frequent zones lower in elevation than the fire. One specific location is the area on Highway 160 between mile marker 122 and 137. This area is marked by electronic sign boards which warn of the smoke problem. In the early morning hours smoke is often thick enough to limit visibility. Motorists are advised to slow down, turn on headlights, and use caution when entering these smoky areas.
There are several areas and roads closed due to the Little Sand Fire. The notices and maps associated with these closures can be found on the San Juan National Forest web site at http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/sanjuan/alerts-notices. In the Vallecito area, the Slide Mountain Trail is closed at the end of Beaver Meadow, and the East Creek Trail (FT 535) is closed at the North Canyon Trailhead. All other trails in the Vallecito area are open.
Recreation areas along the Piedra River corridor leading to the Williams Creek Reservoir and ending at the Palisades Horse Camp are open for visitors with the exception of Williams Creek Campground. Guides and outfitters are open for business and rerouting their trips as necessary to avoid the fire. Pagosa Springs and the Vallecito areas are open for business as usual.