By Jesse Sarles

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – The firefight against a wildfire in Glenwood Canyon continues, but officials now feel good enough about the progress they’ve made that they’ve reopened Interstate 70 through the canyon. The Grizzly Creek Fire forced the closure of I-70 from Gypsum to Glenwood Springs in both directions on Aug. 10, and the highway stayed closed until Monday morning while the fire raged.

An image of the Grizzly Creek Fire from I-70 in the first days of the firefight. (credit: CDOT)

Drivers will need to follow several special rules when they travel through the canyon, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation. They’re calling it a “limited reopening” after a major two-week closure.

– There will be lower speed limits in place.
– No stopping will be allowed through Glenwood Canyon.
– A head-to-head detour is in place between Hanging Lake Tunnel and near No Name Tunnel.
– Rest areas in the canyon are closed.

CDOT officials said they tested the road and bridges and determined that they were all structurally sound and not ruined by the blazing heat of the Grizzly Creek Fire. If firefighters experience new troubles with the wildfire there’s a possibility officials will have to temporarily close the interstate again.

A view of the Grizzly Creek Fire from Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon

A view of the Grizzly Creek Fire from Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon a few days after the fire started (credit: CBS)

Officials said they may put special safety closures in place if heavy rainstorms pass through. That’s because the rain could dislodge rocks that might fall on the road. There’s also a concern about the possibility of mudslides.

The Grizzly Creek Fire is 31% contained. It has burned 30,362 acres and some pre-evacuation and evacuation orders have been lifted.

Jesse Sarles

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