Blackridge Fire update: 100 percent contained

Blackridge Fire update: 100 percent contained
Posted on 07/13/2016
UPDATE: 1:30 p.m., July 18:  As of 4:30 p.m. Sunday, the Black Ridge Fire is 100% contained. A 20-person Type 2 interagency crew comprising state and federal firefighters is assigned to the fire to continue with mop-up and rehabilitation work, including monitoring and patrolling for additional fire activity. A helicopter remains in Durango to support the crew and respond as needed. Given current fuel conditions, the fire will most likely not be declared out until adequate rainfall occurs. Additional crews were demobilized on Sunday afternoon. 

Humidity increased in the area today, with some lightning reported Sunday in the Black Ridge Fire area. The Southern Ute Agency responded to a single-tree fire this morning, caused by lightning Sunday night. Rain is expected by Wednesday, with lightning forecast today and Tuesday. 

UPDATE: 4:30 p.m., July 15: 
The Black Ridge Fire is 80% contained. Crews have been working throughout the day to secure and improve fire control lines, and the fire remains within its original 78-acre footprint. Crews responded to some flare-ups during Friday's operations. 

Oil and gas operations in the area have returned to normal. The pre-evacuation order for nearby residents was lifted as of 1700 hours on 7/14/16.
Demobilization plans are being developed, but no resources have been released.  One helicopter remains assigned to the Black Ridge Fire and made several bucket drops Friday to support ground crews efforts. Approximately 70 personnel are working on the Black Ridge Fire.   

UPDATE: 8:15 a.m., July 15: 
The 78-acre Black Ridge Fire is 70% contained this morning. Humidity recovery on Thursday evening helped slow fire activity. Crews have laid dozer and hand lines on the perimeter and are reinforcing those lines today to 100 feet in from the fire's boundary.

The oil and gas close-in order has been lifted. The pre-evacuation order for nearby residents was lifted Thursday evening.
Ground crews today will apply water to secure fire lines. One Type 1 and one Type 3 helicopter are available as needed to support crews efforts. Approximately 70 personnel are working on the Black Ridge Fire.   
Temperatures from 87-97 degrees are expected today, with single-digit relative humidity and wind gusts up to 25 mph after noon. 
Saturday's forecast shows critical fire conditions, with high temperatures and winds expected. Dry lightning is expected on Sunday and Monday. An initial attack force will be on scene to respond to predicted lightning.

UPDATE: 6:27 p.m., July 14: The 
Black Ridge fire is at 40% containment. A fire investigator has confirmed that this fire was started by a holdover lightning strike from storms during the last week in June. 
The pre-evacuation order for nearby residents has been lifted.  Ground and air fire crews will work to further contain the fire on Friday. Oil and gas crews are encouraged to enter sites that were closed Thursday as early as possible on Friday to prevent interface with fire-fighting efforts and use of roads.
UPDATE: 2:17 p.m., July 14:
 The Blackridge Fire off of County Road 213 south of High Flume Canyon is 40 percent contained this afternoon, with some flare-ups within the perimeter. Crews are addressing those flare-ups with water drops from helicopters. The fire was measured at 76 acres Wednesday night, and was 20 percent contained at that time. Crews from Bureau of Indian Affairs Southern Ute Agency Fire Management, Durango Fire, and Los Pinos Fire were on scene: hand crews, dozer and air support as well as a 5,000-gallon county water tank staged nearby. No structures are currently threatened, and oil & gas resources are protected.

UPDATE: 10:10 a.m., July 14: Crews will focus on the southern and southwestern border of the fire this morning. There are 50 personnel on scene, with an additional crew of 20 arriving this morning. blackridge fire map

On July 1, the La Plata County Board of Commissioners enacted Stage I fire restrictions for areas south of U.S. Highway 160. Details on those restrictions are available here: Stage I Fire Restrictions. Stay informed on Blackridge Fire updates and other alerts through the CodeRED emergency notification system

UPDATE: 8:15 p.m., July 13: Fire crews have applied retardant around the majority of the Blackridge Fire, which began at 3 p.m. Wednesday, July 13 in southern La Plata County off of County Road 213 south of High Flume Canyon. The fire grew to approximately 50 acres by 5:05 p.m. By 7:35 p.m., Richard Gustafson, Bureau of Indian Affairs Southern Ute Agency Fire Management Officer was confident that residents are safe to remain in their homes. The area, which encompasses 304 structures, will remain on pre-evacuation notice until further notice.


The fire is laying down as relative humidity is increasing in the area. Air crews dropped retardant around most of the perimeter of the fire and the fire has burned into the 2005 Black Ridge fire burn scar. Crews will remain on scene throughout the night.

One Type 1 and one Type 3 Helicopters and one Heavy Air Tanker will be on scene tomorrow.  Dozers and dozer crews will also be on scene tomorrow.