“45 Fire” in Palisade forces evacuations, multiple structures lost

Brush fire forces evacuations in Palisade.
Brush fire forces evacuations in Palisade.(kkco)
Published: Jul. 30, 2020 at 6:48 PM MDT|Updated: Jul. 31, 2020 at 4:56 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - The “45 Fire” that started and forced evacuations on Thursday evening near MM 45 at the base of Rapid Creek Rd in Palisade is 90% contained according to the Palisade Fire Department (PFD).

The fire burned 32 acres. As of Friday evening, there is no active fire. Crews on scene are...
The fire burned 32 acres. As of Friday evening, there is no active fire. Crews on scene are working to put out all hot spots. (Palisade Fire Department)

The fire started around 5:00 p.m. and quickly spread to the Rapid Creek area. The fire has the ability to spread even more on Friday due to hot and dry conditions. PFD says that crews worked throughout the night to put out spot fires in the area. They advised residents in the area that they could return home, but that they may not have power in their homes. Around 20 homes were forced to evacuate on Thursday.

One home, four sheds, and several power poles were lost in the fire.

At one point on Thursday evening, all lanes going eastbound on I-70 were closed due to fire activity according to CDOT. As of Friday morning, all lanes have opened back up.

Multiple aircraft were on the scene Thursday helping to contain the spread of the fire.

Agencies that assisted the PFD include the Clifton Fire Protection District, De Beque Fire Protection District, Lands End Fire Protection, East Orchard Mesa Fire Department, Mesa County Sheriff’s Office and their Wildland Fire Team, Colorado Department of Transportation, Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control, Rifle Aircraft, Xcel Energy, and the Bureau of Land Management.

“It is unstable terrain up there so proceed with caution, we ask that the public do not come and access this road as we do have crews currently working,” says Aubrie Wood, public information officer, PFD.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Mesa County remains in Stage 1 Fire Restrictions.

We’ll update this article with more information.

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