Delta, Colo., (July 3, 2013) – The Half Moon Fire was reported about 2:30 p.m. July 2, burning near Ironton Park, south of the town of Ouray. The fire resulted from lightning strike(s). Ouray Volunteer Fire Department resources were able to access the fire initially, followed by Forest Service resources, including approximately 40 firefighters and 3 helicopters. The Half Moon Fire is estimated to be 1-2 acres in size and firefighters were able to construct line and use water drops to stop the spread into the evening hours yesterday. Firefighters will remain on site through the day, working to “mop up” hot spots and ensure the fire is contained.
According to Tammy Randall-Parker, the Ouray District Ranger, “Aggressive initial attack action and pre-positioned fire resources allowed us to quickly react and gain control over this fire.” Randall-Parker referenced the effectiveness of local resources combined with the additional support of “severity resources” that have been staged on the GMUG for initial attack.
As a measure of the severity of the conditions, the GMUG has experienced unusual high elevation fires resulting from lightning. This emphasizes that this is “not a normal year” for firefighting and supports the need for aggressive initial attack and suppression actions.
With the 4th of July holiday and weather predictions calling for continued dry lightning, high fire danger and above average temperatures in the near future, the additional pre-positioned resources that the GMUG has received will assist local firefighters to quickly responding to new fires that may occur.
As a reminder, the Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests are under Stage I fire restrictions and as always, fireworks are not permitted to use on national forest lands, so please leave them at home.
For information on prescribed burns, wildfires and fire restrictions on National Forest System lands and other areas, call the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests Fire Information line at 970.874.6602, visit the GMUG Forest website (www.fs.usda.gov/gmug), Montrose Interagency Fire Dispatch website (http://gacc.nifc.gov/rmcc/dispatch_centers/r2mtc/) , or Twitter https://twitter.com/GMUG_NF. For Fire Information on the Grand Valley Ranger District contact the GMUG Website or Upper Colorado River Interagency Dispatch Fire Information media line (970.244.3104); http://gacc.nifc.gov/rmcc/dispatch_centers/r2gjc/ or https://twitter.com/UCRFireCenter
The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre & Gunnison National Forests manage approximately 3 million acres of land in Southwest Colorado within Delta, Garfield, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Mesa, Montrose, Ouray, Saguache, San Juan and San Miguel counties.