June 21, 2013 - Liane Jollon, Interim Executive Director of the San Juan Basin Health Department, has issued an immediate “Health Advisory” for Pagosa Springs, Archuleta County and the surrounding area due to the degraded air quality from smoke from the West Fork Fire near Wolf Creek Pass.
Elderly persons, young children, pregnant women and persons with pre-existing circulatory or respiratory conditions should limit outdoor activity when smoke is visible in the sky.
This is day 6 of RED FLAG warnings. Clouds over the fire area late yesterday helped to moderate some of the fire behavior in the late afternoon. This morning the size of the entire complex, including the West Fork, Windy Gap and Papoose fires is 75,150 acres. Today members of the Colorado National Guard will be joining the fire fighting effort providing added security and staffing roadblocks. West Zone West Fork Fire: The West Zone of the West Fork fire is the portion of the fire burning south of the continental divide.
The West Fork Complex consists of three wildfires, West Fork, Windy Pass, and Papoose, that are burning on the San Juan and Rio Grande National Forests in southwest Colorado. All fires are burning in steep, rugged terrain with large amounts of beetle-killed spruce which makes it difficult and unsafe for firefighters to mount a direct attack. The fires were combined into a complex on Sunday, June 16.
For information on road and trail closures because of the West Fork Fire Complex on the San Juan National Forest go to web site: http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/sanjuan/alerts-notices and for closures on the Rio Grande National Forest go to the following web site: http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/riogrande/alerts-notices
- The fire is two to three miles west of the town. The fire has not made it to the town of South Fork, although it still may today. 32 fire engines and a number of hand crews are currently protecting the town.
A RED FLAG warning has been issued for today; this is the fourth day in a row where conditions are ideal for rapid fire spread and for the chances of any ignition source starting new fires. Winds that have been pushing the fires will continue from the southwest at 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 35 mph wind gusts up to 50 mph on exposed ridges. The fires are again expected to make significant runs. The size for the West Fork Fire Complex that now includes the Papoose Fire is 53,544 acres.