Climate Crisis

Update on Pine Gulch Fire, 8/17/2020: 85,000+ acres

FRUITA, CO – Pat Seekins, operations branch director of the Rocky Mountain Incident Management team, held a brief, livestreamed video update this morning on the Pine Gulch fire that is currently raging 18 miles north of Grand Junction. Seekins confirmed that “there was quite a bit of fire activity here in the southern portion (of the fire)” yesterday that was visible to Grand Junction residents. He said that “that will likely continue today — fire activity and smoke production today — so you can expect that.”

That shouldn’t surprise anyone today, given the heavy smoke and haze that is currently blanketing the valley, including Fruita. Residents have also reported ash falling in yards and neighborhoods throughout the county as well.

The Pine Gulch fire now encompasses 85,407 acres, about 4,000 more acres than yesterday, and is still at 7% containment. 811 personnel are on the ground.

Poor air quality conditions continue today, and individuals with health conditions and other sensitive groups are urged to minimize outdoor activity. The full smoke outlook and wildfire updates posted by the Incident Management Team are published below.

The Pine Gulch fire incident team will have a live public meeting this evening at 6:00 pm. The meeting will be livestreamed on Facebook. The meeting is also available via Zoom. For information on how to access the Zoom link, visit the team’s website at