Pine Gulch Fire reaches 100% containment
MESA and GARFIELD COUNTIES, Colo. (KJCT) -
After almost two months, the Pine Gulch Fire has reached 100% containment. Now the largest fire in Colorado history, the lands the fire destroyed is still a concern.
“The potential for debris flows or landslides is very high, it was very high before the fire and it’s exacerbated by the fire and increased somewhat…folks ought to be aware not to be on the roads and not be in problem spots during intense thunderstorms,” says Chris Holbeck, BAER team lead, National Park Service.
The Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Lands and Minerals for the Department of Interior, Casey Hammond visited the site on Wednesday.
“The president’s made it a big priority to address wildfires in the [western United States], it’s something he’s taken very seriously and he’s given us direction on these fires, one of the ways we’re [working on it is by] looking at preparation before a fire occurs,” explains Hammond.
The total cost of the fire to date is $35 million for firefighting and repression emergency costs.
“They’ve made plans for how they’re going to rehabilitate this area and they’ve done a great job putting plans together and now the next step is to get those projects funded and get boots on the ground and get seed planted and the other emergency work that needs to be done to protect the public and protect the resource,” says Hammond.
73% of the costs will come from the Bureau of Land Management while the other 27% will come from the state. There are currently 60 people still working to rehabilitate the land.
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