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The U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Type 1 Incident Management Team on Monday issued the following press release on the status of the Sylvan Fire, which is now 19% contained after a rainy weekend in Eagle County:
The hard work put in by firefighters during recent rainy weather is starting to pay off as containment of the fire begins to increase. Today containment is 19 percent. The weather this week should favor continued progress on fireline construction and preparation for future burning operations. A few new crews have arrived, and two additional hotshot crews are expected soon. This will help with completing some of the more difficult portions of the fireline.
Branch I: The crews in Division G have completed a direct fireline from Sylvan Lake westward to the powerline road. Now they will focus on reinforcing and improving the line until it is fully contained. South of Sylvan Lake, in Division P, firefighters are prepping the primary containment line along the moist, grassy stream bottom parallel to the Eagle-Thomasville Road (400 Road). The preparation consists of removing snags and other vegetation to provide a barrier to fire movement. In future days, a firing operation will remove fuels between the fire edge and the stream bottom when fuels are at the optimum moisture content level to carry fire in a manageable fashion. Work on the fire that slopped across the road and the several spots in the area has been completed and this portion of the fire is now contained.
Branch II: On the portion of the fire that moved south of the Mount Thomas Trail and ridgeline in Division Z, firefighters have modified their tactics slightly to take advantage of meadows and other natural features. This allows them to avoid heavy snag concentrations in the area which present a safety hazard. Once they have completed this section, they will then clear an indirect fireline extending westward along Mount Thomas Trail as a contingency against southward spread of the fire in the steep, inaccessible portions of Division Z that are unsafe for crews to work in. Given recent and predicted weather, this part of the fire is not expected to advance, at least in the near term. If it does become active, however, the contingency line will be in place to prevent southward movement. A scree slope extending northward from Mount Thomas Trail will restrict the fire’s westward advancement, boxing in this inaccessible portion of the fire. In the northwestern part of the fire, in Division A, firefighters continue to work toward containment from the powerline road to LEDE Reservoir and from the reservoir to the southeast. The fireline will be reinforced and improved until full containment is achieved in the area.
Weather & Fuel Conditions: Light scattered showers fell over the fire area Sunday, but Monday will see a decrease in atmospheric moisture with lower humidity and slightly warmer temperatures. There is a chance additional showers will move into the area on Tuesday and continue through the rest of the week as temperatures rise further. Rain received in recent days will continue to keep fuels moist while moderating fire behavior. Fire spread will be limited and consisting mostly of smoldering and creeping.
Evacuations, Closures, and Fire Restrictions: For the latest information about pre-evacuation or evacuation notices or fire restrictions on non-Federal lands, visit www.ecemergency.org for Eagle County and www.pitkinemergency.org for Pitkin County. For the latest on area, road, and trail closures and fire restrictions on National Forest lands, visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/whiteriver.
Temporary Flight Restriction (TRF): A TFR is in place over the Sylvan Fire. Wildfires are a No Drone Zone. If you fly, we can’t. Whenever a drone is spotted near the fire all aircraft are grounded until we can be sure the drone is clear of the area. For more information, visit http://knowbeforeyoufly.org.