Cherry Canyon Fire Evening Update: May 24

 

 

Cherry Canyon & 466 Fire Evening Update: May 24, 2020

 

For Immediate Release

Date: May 24, 2020 

Contact: Caley Fisher | DFPC Public Information Officer | 720-391-1565 | caley.fisher@state.co.us

 

 

Click here to be routed to the Cherry Canyon website

 

Acres: 11,818

% Contained: 50%

Location (approximate): 10 miles NW of Kim, CO

Cause: Lightning (natural)

*As of 5pm 5/24

  

Las Animas County, CO: Cooler temperatures and increased humidity have assisted firefighters battling the Cherry Canyon Fire.  Wind has shifted to the northwest challenging existing control lines on the fire.  Additional shifts in the winds and unsettled weather is expected for the next few days.  Due to the light precipitation the fire grew minimally to 11,818 acres with 50% containment.  Click here to view the map that shows the specific location of the fire and its perimeter.

 

Firefighters camped out on the West side of the fire last night and completed a large portion of work in the accessible terrain and will continue to monitor the inaccessible areas. Firefighters on the East side of the fire were not able to conduct burnout operations last night due to unfavorable conditions, but worked in that region today to tie in the large slopover/run from yesterday afternoon.

 

Additionally, while there are few structures at risk from this fire, other values, such as grazing land, water, and livestock, are very important in this region. Allowing the fire to continue to burn eliminates feed for cattle, exposes steep slopes to be susceptible to erosion, and causes health concerns from the increased smoke.  As is normal in every wildfire, a risk-benefit analysis is conducted before actions are initiated; from this discussion, it was determined that rather than smoking out communities, removing grazing land for cattle and impacting communities with restrictions on travel/road closures, it is better to suppress the fire. 

 

The Cherry Canyon Fire is being managed by a Type 3 Management Organization including an on-site Incident Commander (IC), IC Trainee and some Command and General staff positions. Additional tasks in support of the fire including finance/administration and public information are being conducted remotely.

 

The 466 fire maintained 120 acres, with 50%. Aircraft and firefighters from the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control (DFPC) continue to assist the Kim Volunteer fire Department. Mop-up will continue through the weekend, once complete resources assigned to the 466 fire will return to the Cherry Canyon Fire. 

 

Resources: Kim Volunteer Fire Department, Las Animas County Sheriff, Las Animas County Road and Bridge Department, Las Animas County Emergency Management, and the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control have provided essential resources including 3 DFPC Modules, 3 DFPC Engines, Helitack, Multi Mission Aircraft support and Single Engine Air Tankers. Overall, 60 firefighters are working on the Cherry Canyon fire. 

 

Thank you: Firefighters, Command and General Staff want to thank the town of Kim and the surrounding community for their support.Your contributions and support means a great deal to us!

 

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. 

 

As a reminder, Stage 1 Fire restrictions are in effect in Las Animas County. Learn more at https://www.lasanimascounty.net/ With summer ramping up and people beginning to enjoy our great outdoors we want to remind you that Las Animas County is under Stage 1 Fire restrictions. 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. 

 

Additional information will be released as it becomes available.