Little Sand Fire Daily Update – July 6, 2012 7:30 AM – San Juan National Forest
There was minimal activity or growth on the Little Sand Fire on Thursday as rain over the fire continued. Fire line rehabilitation was going well with the addition of an excavator which provided fire managers with a tool to return disturbed areas back to a more normal condition. The reduction in personnel continued with 119 individuals remaining on the fire. Two additional helicopters were released, making these critical resources available for other fires.
On Friday fire fighters will continue fire line rehabilitation work. This will include assisting Archuleta County in preparing the area around structures in the Weminuche Valley for re-entry. Work will include removal of pumps, sprinklers, and hoses which were placed to provide protection as fire approached the homes and other buildings in the Valley. At one time there was over three miles of fire hose committed to the protection effort. As the clean-up is completed the electricity will be turned on so that residents will have power when they return.
In addition to the work around the structures in the Weminuche Valley two eight person wildfire modules will be assigned to hike the Piedra Trail (FT 596) and the Weminuche Trail (FT 595) to assess trail damage due to the fire. Once the assessment is completed, a strategy will be implemented to repair the trails and return them to their condition prior to the fire.
Based on the current weather forecast, moisture should stay in the area through the weekend. Fire managers note that the fire was tested by hot and dry conditions a week ago and did not seriously threaten containment lines. The amount of moisture over the fire to date, and in the expected future, will further reduce the potential for fire spread.
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: 24,900
Containment: 40% Personnel: 119 Hand Crews: 0
Structures Destroyed: 0 Aviation: 2 helicopters Engines: 6
Dozers: 0 Injuries: 2 Cost to Date: $7.169 Million
Cooperating Agencies: Hinsdale County, Archuleta County, USFS, CSFS
Information on the Little Sand Fire may be obtained by calling (970) 444-2201 or from the following web sites:
Little Sand Blog: https://littlesandcofire.wordpress.com/
About Me: http://about.me/little_sand_cofire
Archuleta County: http://www.acemergency.org/
Regional Information Support Team: http://wildlandfires.info