KSUT's main transmitter site on Missionary Ridge experienced a massive power surge sometime last night or early morning causing the breakers to trip on both the main and backup power supplies. The yet to be determined cause of the surge forced the 90.1 FM transmitter to fail, which in-turn caused 88.1 FM in San Juan County, New Mexico to go down too. Crews responded and were able to restore power around 10:30 AM this morning.
When the Red Flag conditions developed this afternoon, both fires in the West Fork Complex became very active. The West Fork fire demonstrated extreme fire behavior and moved deeper into the Weminuche Wilderness. As of 6:30, the fire had not crossed the Continental Divide. This fire generated the majority of smoke that was seen today.
Due to a power outage at our Missionary Ridge transmitter site last night, 90.1 FM is temporarily off air. We have an engineer on his way to the site to remedy the problem. Tune to 89.3 FM in La Plata County or 105.3 FM in San Juan County, NM or listen on-line. Sorry for the inconvenience.
RED FLAG warning has been issued for today and for tomorrow. Drier air moved into the area last night and warm, dry and windy conditions are predicted through Saturday. Yesterday cloud cover over the fires moderated fire activity, limiting total growth to about 800 acres, for a total of to 4070 acres in the complex. Without the cloud cover today we can expect increased fire activity, intensity and growth.
Due to more cloud cover over the fires the West Fork Complex was less active today. However, warm, dry and windy conditions are predicted for the next few days which can increase fire intensity and growth potential. There are currently 256 people assigned to the fires.
Weather is predicted to be hot, dry and windy today through Saturday. An infrared flight last night shows the total acreage for both fires in the West Fork Complex at 3280 acres. There are currently about 260 people assigned to the complex.
DURANGO - Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - In coordination with the BLM Tres Rios Field Office, Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute Indian tribes, Mesa Verde National Park and La Plata, Archuleta and Montezuma counties, fire restrictions will go into effect for portions of the San Juan National Forest on Wednesday, June 19, 2013. Fire managers feel the restrictions are necessary due to continued high temperatures, low humidity, high winds and dry fuels.
Stage 1 restrictions are in effect for lower- to middle-elevation portions of the San Juan National Forest, as follows:
Official map of the closures related to the West Fork Fire Complex. Fire managers feel these closures are necessary to provide for firefighter and public safety in light of the potential for these fires to grow rapidly due to the Red Flag Warnings for the next couple days and amount of beetle-killed timber in the area.
An infrared flight tonight will determine the growth on the fires today and will be given in Tuesday’s update. There are approximately 220 people assigned to the complex. Transition to the NIMO team is expected to occur at end of shift on Tuesday. Total cost for the two fires is estimated at $411,000.