On Wednesday the Little Sand Fire continued to make a minor advance at the confluence of the Piedra River and North Fork Creek where it continues to back slowly through Ponderosa pine areas. No growth was experienced in other areas of the fire. Late in the afternoon crews were removed from the Piedra River area due to heavy rainfall. Other areas of the fire also received moisture. At the present time the risk of fire movement is considered very low.
On Thursday fire managers and crews will continue to implement fire rehabilitation measures on suppression-related disturbances around the fire. With the arrival of an “excavator” on Thursday fire personnel will be able to use this specialized digging machine to pull scattered material back over the fire lines to reduce erosion potential and make them less visible.
Thunderstorms will continue over the fire today with the expectation that the trend will continue into the weekend. Continued wetting rain is needed over all parts of the Little Sand Fire before the fire can be called contained.
With the expectation of more rain, the fire will continue to downsize in personnel. There are currently 135 personnel on the fire. There are three eight person wildfire modules and 9 engines responding to the various operational demands of the fire. Today personnel will be assisting in suppression rehabilitation and providing fire protection in the Weminuche Valley. They will also be patrolling and monitoring for spot fires south of the Piedra River where the fire is still active.
Fire closure restrictions remain in place including First Fork Road (FR 622) and West Monument Road (FR 630) which are both 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: 24,800
Containment: 40% Personnel: 156 Hand Crews: 0
Structures Destroyed: 0 Aviation: 4 helicopters Engines: 9
Dozers: 0 Injuries: 2 Cost to Date: $7.033 Million
Cooperating Agencies: Hinsdale County, Archuleta County, USFS, CSFS