Highways Reopen–Fire Fighters Gaining Ground on West Fork Complex

Jul 2nd @ 9:31 am in News by Scott Staley


(Wolf Creek Pass, CO)

Highway-160 reopened over Wolf Creek Pass on Sunday, as did Highway-149 near the West Fork Complex of fires burning in the San Juans.  More good news from the fire-front is South Fork residents have been allowed to return to their homes after a lengthy evacuation, the Red Cross temporary shelter in Del Norte has closed, the post office has reopened in the evacuation area, and the process of containment has begun.

The West Fork Complex consists of three lightning-caused wildfires, West Fork , Windy Pass, and Papoose, that are burning on the San Juan and Rio Grande National Forests and private lands in southern Colorado. Much of the area covered by the fires is steep, rugged terrain with large amounts of beetle-killed spruce, making it difficult and unsafe for firefighters to mount a direct attack in most areas.

Structures directly north of the West Fork Fire and from the 4UR Ranch southward, remain under evacuation, as do areas near the southeast corner and northern edge of the Papoose Fire.

Over 1500 fire fighters are now working the West Fork Complex and containment has just begun.