Mesa County emergency officials have organized an emergency operations center (EOC) to plan for the future as the Pine Ridge Fire continues to grow.
The EOC is separate from the incident management team close to the fire but is working hand-in-hand with fire crews as they organize a plan of attack.
"County employees are doing their normal duties, their normal jobs, but are focusing on the wildfire," Emergency Manager Andy Martsolf said. "This is really an 'All Hands on Deck' kind of emergency."
The EOC has been set up inside the Training Room at the Mesa County Sheriff's Office. From IT technicians mapping the blaze out to communications specialists keeping the public informed, all sorts of officials are coordinating efforts for the county.
There are also people handling evacuations, organizing donations, and several emergency responders keeping a close eye on the developments.
"The fire moved three miles in just about 45 minutes on Thursday," Sheriff Stan Hilkey said during a briefing with Grand Junction Police Chief John Camper.
Martsolf says this kind of organization allows all ideas and communication to come to one place which keeps everyone on the same page and improves efficiency. "I'm very satisfied with all of the planning we've done for this kind of scenario; I don't think it could have gone any better."
The EOC will be in placed, staffed 24 hours until the threat of the wildfire diminishes. Currently crews have not estimated a target day for full containment.