Pine Gulch Fire Facts: 139,007 acres
The Pine Gulch Fire was started by a lightning strike on July 31, 2020, approximately 18 miles north of Grand Junction, Colorado. Initial Attack resources were unable to corral this remote wildfire as it spread rapidly through grass, sage, pinyon-juniper, and fir.
The combination of drought-stressed vegetation, unseasonably hot weather, and steep terrain led to weeks of active burning. Smoke columns were often visible from Grand Junction and the surrounding area as the wildfire exhibited extreme fire behavior. During the night of August 18, the fire grew quickly due to thunderstorm winds up to 40 mph for a three to four hour period. As a result, the fire increased by more than 30,000 acres that night.
Firefighters worked to protect homes and outbuildings using a combination of bulldozers and hand crews to build firelines. Road systems were used as control lines where crews initiated firing operations to slow the fire spread.
As of August 27, 2020 the Pine Gulch Fire became the largest wildfire in Colorado State history, surpassing the Hayman Fire that burned near Colorado Springs in the summer of 2002. The fire burned in both Mesa and Garfield Counties and shutdown Hwy 139 for several days. By the year's end, the Pine Gulch Fire was surpassed by the Cameron Peak (208,913 acres) and East Troublesome Fires (193,812 acres).
Control of the fire returned to local agencies on September 12, 2020, to complete suppression repair of areas damaged by actions taken to contain the fire, such as retardant drops and building firelines.
The Pine Gulch Fire reached 100% containment on September, 23, 2020. Fire crews also completed the majority of the suppression repair.
For the latest information on the Pine Gulch Fire click here or call 970-628-5622.
View Pine Gulch Fire Map
To view previous virtual public meetings please visit Facebook, @PineGulchFireCO