Freeman Fire close to Ruedi Reservoir grows to 294 acres | CraigDailyPress.com

Freeman Fire close to Ruedi Reservoir grows to 294 acres

Post Independent staff

A helicopter hovers over Ruedi Reservoir to pick up water to fight a nearby wildfire that officials have named The Freeman Fire.

The Freeman Fire near Ruedi Reservoir grew Sunday to 294 acres with zero containment.

The fire was burning north of Ruedi Reservoir between the Two by Four and Freeman Creek drainages in fine grass, brush and timber stands, the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit reported Sunday.

Approximately 80 personnel fought the fire Sunday. Resources on the fire include two Type-I helicopters, a Type-III helicopter, two 20-person hot-shot crews, two 20-person Type-II hand crews and three federal engines. As many as three helicopters conducted water-bucket drops throughout the day.

Weather reports Sunday indicated sporadic gusts as fast as 30 miles per hour and warm temperatures. Smoke was expected to be visible from Fryingpan Road, Basalt, Meredith, Thomasville and Eagle County.

"Suppression efforts are ongoing today," District Ranger Kevin Warner said Sunday. "The public can expect to see active aerial activity and fire operations in the Ruedi areas. We ask that the public maintain safe and reasonable distances from crews and operations and let the firefighters work."

Primary suppression tactics are being performed by aerial resources, the agency reported. If conditions allow, crews would focus on putting in hand and saw line around the east and west flank of the fire and keeping it north above Fryingpan Road. Incident command was expecting 10 percent containment by end of their shift Sunday.

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The agency said public and firefighter safety is a top a priority. No evacuation notices or pre-evacuation notices had been issued, and no roads or trails in the area were closed. Firefighting was being staged from the Ruedi Reservoir boat ramp area. Those in the area for recreational activities should be aware that operations will be ongoing and should expect to encounter movement of equipment and crews.

The Basalt and Rural Fire Protection District continues to be engaged in fire operations. The district said via the agency's statement Sunday that it would like to thank Eagle County, the Pitkin County Sheriff's Department, Snowmass-Wildcat Fire Protection District, Aspen Fire Protection District and the Carbondale and Rural Fire Protection District for their support.

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