GRAND COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Fire crews at the Williams Fork Fire incident command post have been working around the clock as it grows in size in complexity. While there are residential evacuations in Grand County at this time, crews are preparing for the worst case scenario.
“Failing to plan, is planning to fail,” said Schelly Olson, Grand County Fire Public Information Officer.
The fire has burned 6,627 acres and is not contained.
The incident command team is transitioning from Type 2 to Type 1 fire management. That means more resources and more crews behind the scenes and on the fire lines.
“We look at lots of different concerns, socioeconomic impacts, infrastructure, critical values at risk, the fuel type, the location, the time of year, and the severity in the areas” said Olson. “We’ve been using a lot of aircraft, so that does increase the complexity of the incident.”
Support means outside resources. Greg Karlson of Montana manages a washing station for fire crews to clean up.
“They’ve been out in the backcountry. There’s no running water out there, so they get a chance to wash up, brush their teeth before they go to bed, and when they wake up in the morning,” Karlson said.
Caleb Boone is also a washing station manager. He says they’re critical, especially in the time of COVID-19.
“We have to sanitize a lot more. We have to keep things clean a lot, and we just have to do it more often,” Boone said.
With safety a priority for firefighters and the community, there’s no such thing as being too prepared.
“Prepare your home, and prepare your family,” Olson said. “We’ll get through this.”
The Williams Fork Fire is still zero percent contained. Stage 2 fire restrictions are in place.
The Gilpin County Animal Response Team (GCART) has been activated to support the sheltering operations of animals from these counties starting on Aug. 18.