Pine Gulch fire in Mesa County burns over 1,000 acres, no containment

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MESA COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — A fire started by lightning on Friday evening 18 miles outside of Grand Junction has spread to 1,020 acres with 0% containment.

Photo courtesy of Upper Colorado River Fire and Aviation Management Unit

Known as the Pine Gulch fire, the blaze is one mile south of the Garfield County line. The fire is burning rugged terrain and is not threatening any structures.

The fire moved northward Sunday morning, reaching private land along a road at the drainage bottom. Ground crews continue to establish a containment line on the southern perimeter.

Photo courtesy of Upper Colorado River Fire and Aviation Management Unit

“The dense, dry fuels in this area are very receptive to fire, which is driving some intense fire activity today,” Jim Genung, Pine Gulch Fire Incident Commander, said.

Thunderstorms are not expected but winds from passing systems may increase the fire’s activity. Smoke warnings have been issued for areas downwind of the fire.

The Colorado Air Pollution Control Division expects the direction of the smoke to move southeastward through Sunday evening. Palisade and Mesa are areas that may experience light to moderate smoke.

There are 86 firefighting resources working the incident including two engines and two fire modules. There is also air support from two helicopters, as well as a single engine air tanker and two large air tankers.

The Wyoming Hotshot crew, Mesa County, De Beque Fire Protection District, and Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control are assisting as well.

About 50 firefighters coming in from Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey will be able to assist with the Pine Gulch fire and other fires around the state.

The additional firefighters will be here for 14 days working up to 16 hour days. If needed, the Rocky Mountain Area Coordination Center can ask for an extension of seven days.

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