The Granite Lake Fire was detected on September 21 in the Hunter Fryingpan Wilderness, approximately 13 miles southeast of Meredith, Colorado. It has been relatively inactive until recent dry, windy weather increased fire activity. Smoke from the fire may be visible from surrounding communities.
The fire resulted from a natural ignition on a steep slope at approximately 11,000 feet in elevation. Wind has pushed the fire across patches of high alpine vegetation and avalanche paths.
Steep, rocky terrain raises concerns about firefighter exposure in a backcountry firefighting environment. Fire managers have formulated objectives to protect firefighter and public safety based on the fire’s lack of proximity to values at risk (such as cabins and utility infrastructure), the remote Wilderness location and fall weather that will likely moderate fire behavior. Natural barriers such as cliff bands will be used by fire managers to check the fire and maintain wilderness integrity.
The Granite Lake fire will likely burn and smolder until a season-ending event occurs. In the meantime, firefighters will remain assigned to the incident, patrolling the fire area from the ground and air. Variances in weather, topography and available fuels will affect the fire’s behavior and at times it may become more active with increased smoke. Smoke may be visible in the coming weeks from Summit County, the Homestake Valley in Eagle County, Leadville in Lake County, and parts of the upper Fryingpan and Roaring Fork Valleys in Pitkin County.
Inciweb and the Granite Lake Facebook page will continue to be updated as fire activity merits.
Smoke: Smoke from wildfires may affect your health. For statewide information on smoke and air quality from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, please visit: https://www.colorado.gov/airquality/colo_smoke.aspx.