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Monday, September 28, 2020

Alkali Creek Fire in the area of milemarker 4 on Hwy 131


12:30pm: Greater Eagle Fire Protection District, ERFPD, Gypsum Fire Protection District, the Eagle County Sheriff's Office, Colorado State Patrol, and the U.S. Forest Service - White River National Forest are responding to a wildland-urban interface fire, Alkali Creek Fire, on Highway 131 near Four Eagle Ranch. Please avoid the area and #SlowDownMoveOver for emergency responders. No need to call 911 to report smoke.

UPDATE 12:40 p.m.: Hwy 131 is closed between Hwy 6 and the Trough Rd. Air resources have been requested. The fire is reported at approximately 10 acres and is burning in sage, pinon, and juniper. Gusty winds are creating erratic fire behavior.

UPDATE 1:10 p.m.: Horse Mountain subdivision has been placed on pre-evacuation status. Residents in the area should be prepared to leave immediately if told to do so. If you feel unsafe; leave. Do not wait to be told to evacuate.

UPDATE 1:15 p.m.: 1 helicopter is on scene. 2 single-engine air tankers (SEATs) and a large air tanker (LAT) are en route to assist ground crews.

UPDATE 1:35 p.m.: The fire has been named the Alkali Creek Fire. We are aware that smoke is visible from the Beard Creek/Singletree area. Please do not call 911 to report.

UPDATE 1:45 p.m.: Eagle County Emergency Management has created a map of the fire perimeter and the approximate area of evacuations: The map is available here

UPDATE 3:00 p.m.: Evacuating Muddy Pass Rd (hunters & campers) up to MP 5. BLM land is being evacuated up to the National Forest Service land.

UPDATE 3:40 p.m.: The #AlkaliCreekFire is currently being reported at 100 acres, with 0% containment. A Red Flag warning is in effect until 8:00pm this evening. A Red Flag warning has also been issued from noon to 8:00 p.m. tomorrow.

UPDATE 4:40 p.m.: HWY 131 re-opening, from Hwy 6 to Trough Rd. is safe to resume normal traffic. PRE-EVAC still in effect for Horse Mountain and Muddy Pass areas. #SlowDownMoveOver Please use caution as fire vehicles remain in the area.

09.26.20 UPDATE 8:30 a.m.: Everything was calm on the #AlkaliCreekFire overnight. 4 Eagle Ranch & BLM lands have been moved to pre-evacuation status. All existing pre-evacuation areas including Horse Mtn Ranch will stay in place for the day. Please drive with caution, and watch for firefighters and equipment in the area. For more information, use #AlkaliCreekFire

NEWS RELEASE  September 26, 2020 

4 Eagle Fire 121 acres, 75% contained 

WOLCOTT, Colo. – The 4 Eagle Fire, previously called the Alkali Creek Fire, ignited on private land as a structure fire yesterday, spilling over onto the Bureau of Land Management public lands. The fire was quickly fanned by red flag conditions, growing to 121 acres. It is burning in grass and brush off of Colorado Highway 131 north of Wolcott. 

Multiple agencies quickly responded with fire engines, also calling in for air support. Two Single Engine Air Tankers (SEAT) and one Large Air Tanker (LAT) laid down retardant lines, while two helicopters (one Type 1 and one Type 3) dropped water to cool the heat, slowing the fire’s advance. Fire activity calmed overnight with cooler temperatures and increased humidity. 

Two Forest Service engines are assigned to work the fire today and will order air support if it becomes needed. Crews will seek out and extinguish remaining pockets of heat and work to secure the fire perimeter today and in the coming days. 

Today, highs will be in the upper 70s, with west winds from 15 to 25 mph, gusting to 40 mph, and relative humidity between 10 – 15%. A red flag warning is in effect from noon until 8:00 p.m. due to low relative humidity and windy conditions that tend to promote extreme fire behavior. 

Stage 1 fire restrictions are in effect on BLM lands in Eagle County. To learn more about fire restrictions on BLM-managed lands in northwest Colorado, visit BLM's Northwest District Fire and Aviation webpage. 

9/26/20 UPDATE: 7:00 p.m.

4 Eagle Fire holds at 113 acres, now 100% contained

WOLCOTT, Colo. – Thanks to the quick response from multiple partner agencies and light grass and sagebrush fuels, the 4 Eagle Fire is 100% contained at 113 acres. Slightly reduced acreage is a result of more accurate mapping today. Eagle County has lifted the pre-evacuation notice that was put into place yesterday. The Type 4 organization transferred command of 4 Eagle Fire to a Type 5 organization at 7:00 this evening.

Five engine crews worked the fire today monitoring for evidence of continued fire activity. They worked a grid along the entire fire perimeter, finding no residual heat or smoke. A red flag warning is forecasted again tomorrow, and firefighters will monitor the 4 Eagle Fire for any further fire activity.

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Contact: Maribeth Pecotte, Public Affairs Specialist, (970) 724-3027 

UPDATE: 9.28.20 

4 Eagle Fire declared controlled

WOLCOTT, Colo. – The 4 Eagle Fire was declared controlled at 6:00 this evening. It will be placed in patrol status for local resources to check on daily.

“Crewmembers of Rio Grande Engine 671 have worked the fire for the past two days monitoring for evidence of continued fire activity,” said Incident Commander trainee, Hunter Dennis. “We hiked the entire perimeter and checked the spot at the top of the hill and found no evidence of heat or smoke anywhere within the fire area.”

Fire managers are very pleased with the interagency cooperation resulting in quick resolution and a positive outcome.

Stage 1 fire restrictions are in effect on BLM lands in Eagle County. To learn more about fire restrictions on BLM-managed lands in northwest Colorado, visit BLM's Northwest District Fire and Aviation webpage.

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