Air Park Fire Update

Jul 23, 2012

Durango - Monday, July, 23, 9 AM

As of 7:00 PM Sunday night the Air Park Fire was measured at 514 acres. The fire burned through the night but did not make any significant runs. A very small amount of precipitation fell over the fire last night. The fire has been backing down the ridge towards Basin Creek. There is no containment on the fire. 

Approximately 50 firefighters are working the fire this morning and more crews are expected to arrive throughout the day. One helicopter will be assisting firefighters with water drops this morning and a larger helicopter is expected this afternoon. The heavy air tanker coming in from S. California had to turn around before arriving due to engine problems and no additional air tankers are expected at this time.  Firefighters will be working to keep the fire west of La Posta Road, south of Nighthorse Reservoir, north of Indian Creek and east of Box Canyon.

Crews from Durango Fire & Rescue and Upper Pine Fire will be evaluating structures in Trapper’s Crossing as a precaution. The fire is approximately two miles east of Trapper’s Crossing. All pre-evacuation notices issued Sunday afternoon remain in effect.

Fire managers are evaluating the possibility of conducting a burnout operation in the “bowl” just to the east of Basin Creek Road near Lake Nighthorse. This will allow them to burn up to the fire which is backing down from the ridge. Because of the steep, rugged terrain in the area this will be the best way for firefighters to control the fire on the west side. Notice will be sent to the media if the burnout happens.

Gusty winds and thunderstorms are predicted for late afternoon and early evening. Since fires in pinyon and juniper are typically driven by winds, an increase in fire activity is possible this afternoon. There is a possibility of heavy rain. Wind gusts could reach 18 mph and become erratic with the approach of the thunderstorms.

Contact:  Pam Wilson, Public Information Officer, 970-799-1179.