Wildfire Incident Report

Prepared: Saturday, December 9, 2023 11:28:59 AM MST

Wildfire Incident Report

Fire, Weather & Avalanche Center
La Grande, OR, USA
Incident #
FWAC Incident ID
Incident Name
Lowline Fire
Last Updated
Saturday, December 9, 2023 11:19 AM MST
(9 mins, 5 secs ago)
Fire Reported
Wednesday, July 26, 2023 1:02 AM MDT
(4 months ago)
Incident Type
11.6 miles SSW of Crested Butte, CO
Responsible Agency
US Forest Service
Responsible Fire Unit
Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests
IQCS: 681027 | Contain: 12/07/2023 09:35 | Control: 12/07/2023 09:40
Current Weather

Fire Growth Potential
Fire Weather Forecast
Incident Overview

At approximately 8 a.m. Wednesday, July 26, the Lowline Fire was reported on a ridge between Squirrel and Mill Creeks in Gunnison County. This is a full suppression fire. The highest priority is for firefighter and public safety as firefighting resources work to minimize impacts to private homes and structures, powerline infrastructure, critical water infrastructure resources and other values at risk.

Rocky Mountain Area Complex Incident Management Team 1 (RMA CIMT) led by Incident Commander Dan Dallas assumed management of the Loweline Fire on Friday, July 28, 2023 at 6:00 a.m.

*NEW: Take an Aerial Virtual Tour of the Lowline Fire from Monday, July 31, 2023.

You can watch the Lowline Fire daily morning operational briefings on the Lowline Fire YouTube Channel here: https://www.youtube.com/@LowlineFireInformation.

Evacuations are in place on County Road 727. A map showing the approximate fire perimeter and the evacuation areas can be found here: https://arcg.is/1KKu8X. 

For additional evacuation information, visit the Gunnison County Regional 911 Center on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Gunnison911/ 

You can sign up to receive emergency alerts on your phones or other devices at: https://bit.ly/3QhZVZg

Register para alertas de emergencia en Español: https://gunnison.genasys.com/portal/es/register

The Gunnison National Forest has issued a Closure Order for the Lowline Fire. Go to https://bit.ly/43PTujc or click on the Closures tab above. 

The BLM Gunnison Field office implemented a temporary closure order to all public use for 978 acres of public land, from Cunningham Gulch north to Mill Creek Road (Gunnison County Road 727) in response to the Lowline Fire, actively burning in Gunnison National Forest about 14 miles north-northwest of Gunnison and 11 miles southwest of Crested Butte in Gunnison County, CO. The order, map and other notices are posted at: https://www.blm.gov/.../regio.../colorado/southwest-district.

Smoke will be visible in the area for at least the next several days. National Forest System Trail-Lowline Trail #438 is closed and other nearby roads and trails will be impacted with smoke and firefighter activity.

In the interest of public safety, fire officials ask visitors to be aware of fire traffic and avoid the area. Firefighter and public safety are the priorities for this incident.

Exposure to wildfire smoke can be hazardous to your health. Daily Smoke Outlooks for the Lowline Fire area are posted at: https://outlooks.airfire.org/outlook/ed63b240

La exposición al humo de los incendios forestales puede ser peligrosa para su salud. El pronóstico diario de humo para las áreas affectadas por el incendio Lowline se pueden encontrar en: https://outlooks.airfire.org/outlook/es/ed63b240

Last Updated
Fri, Aug 4, 2023 11:22 AM UTC
Incident Type
Fire Discovered
Wed, Jul 26, 2023 8:00 AM UTC
11 miles southwest of Crested Butte CO
Incident Commander
Incident Commander Dan Dallas, RMA CIMT Team 1
Incident Description
38.72, -107.07583333333
Total Personnel
1,776 Acres
Estimated Containment Date
Fri, Aug 25, 2023
Fuels Involved

Fuels are primarily mixed conifer, grass/sage, and aspen.

Significant Events

Fire spread is primarily in down and standing dead fuel. Active fire behavior is expected in a few days when fuels, slope, and wind align. Fire is approaching steep inaccessible terrain with large amount of mixed conifer mortality. Fire established in this area will be very active and severe fire intensity will result.

Planned Actions
Continue suppression efforts utilizing heavy equipment, crews and firing operations protecting and limiting potential to impact values. Exploring indirect opportunities in Squirrel Creek. Preparing structure protection plans. Also, prepare long-term plan for managing this incident.
Projected Incident Activity

48 hours: Thunderstorms expected to arrive Friday with the potential for gusty outflow winds and lightning.

12 hours: Fire activity expected to increase throughout the day as warm temps and low RH, along with northerly winds a concern. Single tree torching with spot fire development is likely.

12 hours: Low relative humidity and moderate temperatures will result in active fire behavior. With fine dead fuel moistures at 3

24 hours: Increased cloud cover and cooler temperatures will reduce the potential for fire spread on Friday. Northwest winds will limit most fire spread to backing along the western flank. Single tree torching may occur, but spotting should be minimal.

48 hours: Cooler temperatures and higher relative humidity will significantly limit fire movement in fine dead fuels. Heavy fuels will continue to burn and will be the most likely source of fire spread. Spotting should be minimal. Winds will shift to out of the east shifting the primary direction of fire spread.

72 hours: Sunday will be the peak of the cooling trend with lower maximum temperatures and high relative humidity. This will suppress fire behavior substantially, though expect burning to persist in heavy fuels. Surface fire spread should be limited to creeping and smoldering activity. Expect wind to shift to out of the south changing the primary direction of fire spread.

72 hours: Fire growth will remain minimal through the weekend but will begin to increase Monday. Fire behavior will remain low and slow in surface fuels, but more heat will be present in heavy fuels. Winds will shift back out of the west.

Acreage determined by MMA flight and NIROPS flown 8/01/23.NIROPS unable to fly last night due to weather.
Public meeting hosted my CIMT/PIO on 8/1 was attended by over 100 people in person and approximately 165 people virtually.
https://outlooks.airfire.org/outlook/ed63b240 - Colorado Air Resource Report
Incident Map

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