East Fork Fire Update: Monday, August 31 2020

East Fork Fire Update: Monday, August 31 2020



Caley Fisher | Public Information Officer

caley.fisher@state.co.us | 720.391.1565


Acres: 1,680

Containment: 15%

Date Started: 8/22/2020

Cause/Origin: Lightning/Natural

Location: 11 miles SE of Trinidad, CO.  1.5 miles from CO/NM border

Incident Commander: Larry Long, DFPC Battalion Chief

August 31, 2020: The fire has maintained acreage at 1,680 acres and 15% containment; containment is expected to increase over next several days

Yesterday, there was limited fire movement; a dozer line was completed across the Southern flank of the fire and all dozer lines are now in place including a difficult section near Lake Dorothey. Firefighters will continue to reinforce and improve control lines over the next few days. Aircraft and ground resources continue to use a full suppression strategy where safely possible to do so and minimize impacts on private land.

The fire continues to burn on 2 State Wildlife Areas: James M John State Wildlife Area (SWA) and Lake Dorothey SWA. Evacuations have been lifted for all New Mexico residences, however the Lake Dorothy SWA in Colorado is still closed and is currently being used to stage resources and as a helicopter dip site.


The Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control (DFPC) is coordinating with Raton, New Mexico (NM), NM Forestry Division, Colorado Parks & WIldlife, Las Animas County,  Las Animas County Sheriff and Hoehne VFD.


95 total personnel are fighting the fire and aerial support in the form of two large air tankers (LAT), two UH-60 Blackhawks from the Colorado Air National Guard, Air Attack, and a Multi Mission Aircraft. 


Safety is the number one priority and as such, strategies moving forward include maintaining firefighter and public safety by utilizing sound risk management actions and utilizing suppression activities that guide the fire into natural barriers. Additionally, minimizing the potential impacts of COVID-19 through the practice of social distancing, proper personal hygiene, and regular cleaning. 


Receive Alerts-Sign Up For Code Red! To sign up for CodeRed, go to trinidad.co.gov, click on the Public Safety tab, then click CodeRed and follow the instructions. If you do not have internet, please go to the Police Station, M-F 8-5 and ask to sign up!


Fire Restrictions: As a reminder, Stage 1 Fire restrictions are in effect in Las Animas County. This is due not only to the potential for high winds, but the moisture content of potential fuels at lower elevations as well as the limited resources available to combat a large-scale fire due to the COVID-19 restrictions. Learn more at https://www.lasanimascounty.net/. 


Moving forward, one update a day will be published before noon. 


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