Almost 50% of the Black Fire is contained — 287,273 acres burned

Almost 50% of the Black Fire is contained — 287,273 acres burned
USDA Forest Service photo by Cecilio Ricardo

Despite all the efforts by ground crews, Monday morning infrared analysis show that Black Fire continue to spread by about 10,000 acres every day, and total affected area now is 287,283 acres. But over the last several days containment of the Black Fire reached 49%.

Crews will continue patrolling and mopping up, constructing direct and indirect control lines, prepping new line where needed and using point protection tactics to protect private property, critical infrastructure, and other values at risk. Slash chipping and fire suppression repair will continue where appropriate. Hand and aerial ignitions (including UAS and helicopter) will be used where needed to strengthen protection of values at risk and burn out fuels between constructed firelines and the main fire. Structure triage assessments and identification of values at risk will continue.

In the next 24 hours fire will continue to persistently back and flank to the south in the Black Range, making upslope runs and wind-driven runs to the east. Expect fire to back down in Spring Canyon, Yates Spring Canyon, and Bear Trap Canyon with short wind/slope-aligned runs to the east. Fire is backing down Pretty Canyon to the east and making upslope/upcanyon runs to the south in Sid Prong.

Continuous grass and wind-aligned drainages on the southeastern flank will allow for significant runs, particularly in the early evening when downslope winds become active. Expect fire to run upslope in the hills south of Las Animas and wind-driven runs east in Las Animas Creek and Cottonwood Creek canyons. With poor overnight recovery expect fire to burn actively until early evening. Overnight smoke impacts likely to the communities along Highway 35, Highway 152, and I-25.

In the meantime Calf Canyon-Hermits Peak Fire 65% contained, thanks to 2,920 personnel involved in operations. Morning total area at 317,920 acres — growth of few hundred acres per day.