East Fork Fire Update: Sunday, August 30 2020

East Fork Fire Update: Sunday, August 30 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 30, 2020: Limited fire behavior and growth overnight kept the fire at 1,680 acres, 15% containment. Please click here to view footage from the Multi Mission Aircraft flight today (8/30). Additional helicopter suppression work allowed firefighters to put control lines in place on the South side of the fire. Firefighters will continue to reinforce and improve control lines over the next few days.


Although the fire remains in Colorado, a watershed near Raton, NM is threatened and has seen some impact above Lake Dorothey. 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.


Aircraft and ground resources continue to use a full suppression strategy where safely possible to do so and minimize impacts on private land. A dozer line has been completed around the fire on the Fisher's Peak and Little Fisher's Peak Mesa. Today, National Guard helicopters will be conducting bucket work today and dozers are working along the southern flank from Lake Dorothey to the west.  Crews will continue to utilize indirect line and burnout operations for the majority of the fire.


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/. 


Donations being accepted: Fire crews battling the East Fork Fire are in need of cases of bottled water, nonperishable food items, and basic toiletries. Please use the contact information below to find out how you can help! Drop off donation sites include:

  • Fire Station 1 - 1605 Santa Fe Trail
  • Fire Station 2 - 1102 Nevada Avenue

For questions about donations, please contact: Hoehne Fire PIO, Kathleen Mrace 719-422-1753 or donations@allthings81082.news, call/text 719-422-3481

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