Grizzly Creek Fire continues to grow; Independence Pass reopened


GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. (KDVR) — The Grizzly Creek fire has been burning for several days and scorched more than 13,000 acres of land in the Glenwood Canyon area. Because of the location of the fire and the smoke it is producing, Interstate 70 has been closed for several days through the canyon. Below you will find the latest updates.

UPDATE (Aug. 14, 6:16 p.m.): Officials say as of Friday evening, Hanging Lake has not been seriously impacted by the fire.

“We’re happy to report that the main front and the most intense part of the fire did not seem to impact Hanging Lake or the immediate area,” said Scott Fitzwilliams, supervisor of the White River National Forest.

UPDATE (Aug. 14, 5:36 p.m.): Independence Pass has reopened to passenger vehicles, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation.

“Eastbound and westbound traffic on either side of the pass will encounter alternating traffic flow controlled by flagging personnel. Motorists are advised that only passenger vehicles, such as cars, SUVs and vans are allowed,” CDOT said in a statement.

CDOT closed the pass earlier this week due to safety concerns after numerous semi-trucks got struck while trying to navigate the road.

The agency said drivers should expect a heavy law enforcement presence.

UPDATE (Aug. 14, 2:03 p.m.): The American Red Cross of Colorado has opened an evacuation center in Edwards. Battle Mountain High school is located at 151 Miller Ranch Rd.

Red Cross volunteers are there and are prepared and ready to accommodate anyone needing information or other assistance. They will also have access to emergency supplies and support. 

UPDATE (Aug. 14, Noon): Gov. Polis toured the Grizzly Creek Fire Friday before heading off the the Pine Gulch Fire near Grand Junction. Police thanked the 1,000+ men and women working to fight these wildfires.

“The Grizzly Creek Fire is now the number one fire priority in the entire nation and we are successfully receiving and deploying resources from across the country. The top priorities for the Grizzly Creek Fire include protecting and re-opening I-70 and protecting residents and homes in the area,” he said.

UPDATE (Aug. 14, 11:30 a.m.): FOX31’s Vicente Arenas has learned that Hanging Lake is three miles inside the fire line.

At this time it’s unclear how much damage has been caused to the vegetation around the lake.

Yesterday, all reservations for Hanging Lake through Aug. 19 were canceled. People were being asked to reschedule.

UPDATE (Aug. 14, 10:30 p.m.): An adjusted measurement from the Forest Service lists the fire at 13,441 acres. FOX31 is working to learn more about how these measurements are made and what would lead to a decreased size.

I-70, Cottonwood Pass, Independence Pass, Hagerman Pass Road and Crooked Creek Bass between Sylvan Lake and Thomasville remains closed.

UPDATE (Aug. 14, 6:20 a.m.): The fire doubled in size overnight, burning a total of 14,663 acres.

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