Firefighters Methodically Preparing to Use Lightning Strike on National Forest lands in Ryman Creek Area for Resource Benefits – Road and Trail Closures Announced
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 26, 2017, 11 a.m.
DOLORES – The 412 Fire was reported on Friday, June 23rd at .5 acres burning in mixed-conifer forests (spruce and fir) at 10,100 feet in elevation in a remote area of the San Juan National Forest. The fire is located approximately five miles east of the Roaring Fork Trailhead within Montezuma County. It was determined that the fire was naturally caused by a lightning strike several days ago. The 412 Fire is now estimated at 2 acres and expected to grow. About two dozen U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management crews are onsite identifying an area surrounded by forest roads and trails. The fire will be actively managed by fire crews within these predetermined boundaries. Closely managing the growth of the fire will allow it to play its natural role in making the forest more resilient to future fire, insect or disease.
Fire management will entail some area closures, current road and trail closures include:
- Roaring Fork Road (#435)
- Scotch Creek Road and Hotel Draw Road (#550)
- Forest Road #564
- Corral Trail (#521)
- Salt Creek Trail (#733)
- Ryman Creek Trail (#734/735)
“Live fuels are green, but even at the higher elevations, the drying trend is expected to continue, which will gradually increase fire activity in the coming weeks,” said Dolores District Fire Management Officer Patrick Seekins. “Only heavy dead and down fuels are burning right now, resulting in a low-to-moderate intensity surface fire. These conditions are different compared to lower elevations, where cured cheat grass and dry pinon/juniper could make it difficult for us to control a fire.”
Firefighters are currently focusing operations and patrols in the Roaring Fork drainage along Forest Road 435 to the east and north along Forest Road 564 to Scotch Creek along Forest Road 550. Undeveloped private land lies five miles downslope to the west, but there are numerous natural barriers that will limit fire spread to the west. Crews will continue to patrol the area as long as the fire burns. Smoke is expected to be visible from Highway 145 at times. Travel restrictions will be posted on roads in the area along with roadside signs posted alerting the public to fire operations. Night-time smoke may settle downslope in valleys to the south and west along Highway 145 in the Dolores River Canyon.
For more information, contact the Dolores Ranger District at 970 882-7296.
For updates on this and other San Juan National Forest news, visit our Website at: www.fs.usda.gov/sanjuan, or follow us on TWITTER @SanJuanNF