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Burro Fire grows slightly; crews work to reinforce fire lines

Estimate of full containment is now Aug. 1

The Burro Fire east of Dolores grew 9 acres on Thursday, and crews continued on Friday to reinforce containment lines on its northwestern and southern sides.

The fire remained at 53 percent containment, and the estimate of full containment was revised to Aug. 1. Previously, full containment was expected by July 15.

An infrared mapping flight about 10 p.m. Thursday showed that the Burro Fire was at 3,756 acres, and an area of intense heat existed on the northwest finger of the fire, the flight log said.

The new, Type 3 team, under incident commander John Norton-Jensen, reported that fellers, skidders and chippers would reinforce control lines and remove hazardous fuels along the completed bulldozed line in Division J, on the northwest side of the fire. Crews also worked to improve fire lines in Division N, on the southern end of the fire, near Windy Gap.

Limited fire activity was expected on Friday, though a drying trend following last weekend’s 1.2 inches of rain could result in increased fire activity within two or three days, said Andy Lyon, a public information officer with the incident command team.

Division R, on the fire’s northeast side, remained unstaffed. The Burro Fire is bordered on the east by a high-elevation wilderness, and because some areas are above timberline, the fire team does not consider the area to be a threat, said Patrick Seekins, of the Dolores Ranger District of the San Juan National Forest. Crews from the 416 Fire were managing that area from the western flank of the 416 Fire, less than 10 miles away.

The Burro and 416 fires, previously managed by a joint Rocky Mountain Incident Management Type 1 team along with the Burro Fire, have transitioned to new fire management teams.

The Burro Fire transitioned to a downsized Type 3 team under the jurisdiction of the San Juan National Forest at 6 a.m. Thursday. About 134 personnel remained on the fire team, but that number was expected to fall Friday as personnel including the 20 Black Mountain Hotshots, from Carson City, Nevada, demobilized.

The 416 Fire hit its 14-day limit for working a fire on Thursday, and is now under a Type 1 National Incident Management Organization team. The NIMO team, from Portland, Oregon, will continue to supervise more than 600 firefighters working on the wildfire. A NIMO team is structured to manage long-duration fires, ideal for managing fire in the remote country, such as the western side of the 416 Fire.

Burro infrared map, June 22 (PDF)

Jun 16, 2021
Update: Burro Fire holding steady, but fuels are drying out