#LittleSand #COFire Update July 3 ^jp

The Little Sand Fire was active Monday on the southwest corner as the fire continued to move through the Ponderosa pine vegetation at the confluence of First Fork Creek and Piedra River. Light to moderate intensity surface fire was observed as the fire continued to back into the 2009 prescribed burn. The remainder of the fire was quiet. A large portion of the fire received light to moderate rain in the late afternoon.

On Tuesday, fire personnel will begin fire suppression rehabilitation of areas where modifications were made to roads or natural features in the process of fighting the fire. Much of this work is related to cleaning up dozer line that was created in areas to connect roads or otherwise enable access to firefighters to contain the fire. Fire crews will also continue structure protection in the Weminuche Valley, and patrol and monitor for spot fires south of the Piedra River.

Due to decreased fire activity on the east side of the fire, several closed areas will be reopened on Tuesday to the public. These include the Poison Park Road (FR 644) near Williams Creek Reservoir, and Ice Cave Ridge near the Piedra Picnic Area.

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.

With the increase in activity on the south end of the fire, two roads will be added to the list of closed routes. These include First Fork Road (FR 622) and West Monument Road (FR 630) which will both be closed at the Sheep Creek Trailhead. In the Vallecito area, the Pine Piedra Stock Driveway is closed at the end of Beaver Meadow, and the East Creek Trail (FT 535) is closed at the East Creek Trailhead on Forest Road 852. All other trails in the Vallecito area are open. Additional information on closures on the San Juan National Forest may be found on the Forest web site at http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/sanjuan/alerts-notices.

Fire Statistics at a Glance:

Start Date: May 13th, 2012 Cause: Lightning Acreage: 24,450

Containment: 40% Personnel: 202 Hand Crews: 3

Structures Destroyed: 0 Aviation: 4 helicopters Engines: 9

Dozers: 1 Injuries: 3 Cost to Date: $6.741 Million

Cooperating Agencies: Hinsdale County, Archuleta County, USFS, CSFS

Basic Information

Incident Type Wildfire
Cause Lightning
Date of Origin Sunday May 13th, 2012 approx. 04:00 PM
Location 13 miles NW of Pagosa Springs
Incident Commander Wally Bennett

Current Situation

Total Personnel 202
Size 24,450 acres
Percent Contained 40%
Estimated Containment Date Friday July 27th, 2012 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved 10 Timber (litter and understory)Timber, litter, and understory. Dry mixed conifer and hardwoods. Fuel models 9 and 10
Fire Behavior Fire was active today on the southwest corner with a Haines of 6. Light to moderate intensity surface fire ws observed as the fire continued backing in to the 2008 Rx burn area. The northern portion of the fire was quiet.
Significant Events IMT personel assisted with local extended attck fires and detection flights.


Planned Actions Continued structure protection in Weminuche Valley, patrol and monitor for spot fires south of the Piedra Reiver. Support local IA as requested. Demob of resouces will continue. Suppression repair will begin tomorrow.
Growth Potential Medium
Terrain Difficulty High.
Remarks Transfer of command from W. Bennett to C. Heaton is scheduled for 0600 tomorrow, July 3rd.

Current Weather

Wind Conditions 6-8, g 15 mph NE
Temperature 91 degrees
Humidity 13%


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