By Jesse Sarles

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office announced new evacuations and new road closures related to the Grizzly Creek Fire on Tuesday night.

“Evacuation of Coulter Creek has been ordered from the Cottonwood Pass area.
Cottonwood Pass is CLOSED on both sides from Garfield County to Eagle County,” the sheriff’s office tweeted at 7:20 p.m.

An evacuation was ordered for residents of the town of No Name earlier in the day.

The Grizzly Creek Fire, which started in Glenwood Canyon on Monday and grew rapidly, is continuing to cause problems for firefighters on Tuesday. The wildfire forced the shutdown of Interstate 70 through the canyon and officials said the major closure would remain in place overnight. There is no estimated time for reopening.

Grizzly Creek Fire in Glenwood Canyon, Colorado

An image from Copter4 of the Grizzly Creek Fire on Tuesday (credit: CBS)

“It took off. As you’ve seen with the Pine Gulch Fire, same here. I mean, we’re as dry as we’ve been out here in the last 10 years,” said U.S. Forest Service spokesman David Boyd.

The Grizzly Creek Fire

Grizzly Creek Fire (credit: CBS)

The fire is located in Garfield County approximately four miles east of Glenwood Springs, and the I-70 closure is between Glenwood Springs and Gypsum (a 30 mile stretch). The eastbound lanes are closed at exit 116 and the westbound lanes are closed at exit 140.

The Grizzly Creek Fire was estimated on Tuesday afternoon to have burned 1,832 acres. It was also putting out a large amount of smoke that was visible from far away.

Due to the steep terrain where the fire is burning, the firefight primarily consists of an aerial attack.

(credit: Glenwood Fire)

There’s no word on how the fire started.

The GWS Community Center is the relocation point for evacuees who need a place to go.

A detour is set up that adds quite a bit of extra time to drivers heading east and west across Colorado. The Colorado Department of Transportation shared the following map on Tuesday afternoon of the detour:

(credit: CDOT)

They shared the following notes about the detour:

Drivers should anticipate additional traffic on these routes. CDOT has paused some construction projects in order to accommodate detour traffic. However, travelers should be aware of possible construction impacts on US and state highways. CDOT recommends that through traffic on I-70 use a southern detour route, due to construction on commonly used northern alternate routes.

– WESTBOUND: Denver metro area motorists can travel on US 285 to US 50, and continue west to Grand Junction. Travelers on I-70 can use CO 9 to US 285 south to US 50, or use CO 91 southwest to US 24 to US 50.

– EASTBOUND: Motorists traveling from Grand Junction can use US 50 east to US 285 and continue to Denver. Motorists headed to areas west of Denver can also use the westbound detour in reverse.
For residents and businesses north of I-70, the following alternate routes are best:

– WESTBOUND: Motorists can connect to US 40 via CO 9 or CO 131. To continue to Grand Junction, take CO 139 south to I-70. CDOT advises commercial traffic to use CO 9 instead of CO 131, for safety purposes. Please note that while CO 13 is open at this time, it is not a recommended detour due to construction. Oversize commercial vehicles are not allowed on CO 13 due to construction.

-EASTBOUND: Near Fruita, motorists can travel north on CO 139 to US 40, then south on CO 131 or CO 9, returning to I-70. As stated above, CO 13 is not recommended due to construction.

Jesse Sarles

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