On Thursday evening at 6:25 PM the Grand Junction Fire Department responded to reports of a possible brush fire in the area of 200 Dike Road. A motorist on the Riverside Parkway called 9-1-1 to report smoke and flames in the area behind the Pepsi Plant. GJFD had difficulty gaining access to the fire due to the heavily wooded area and lack of roads. Three GJFD firefighters accessed the area on foot to determine if the fire could be safely extinguished. They could see could see that the fire was burning in open land next to the Colorado River in dense vegetation and that it was slow moving. The crew found access to the river and began cutting a line between the fire and additional fuel to prevent further spread. Crews working with hand tools in the thick underbrush slowed the movement of the fire and created a safe anchor point to add additional personnel. Brush 5 was able to locate an access road to provide a water source to put out the fire. Additionally, firefighters on foot dropped a portable water pump into the Colorado river to supply water. With assistance from Truck 3 and Brush 4, crews were able to cut a line around the entire fire covering approximately 3/4 of an acre to prevent the spread and extinguish the blaze. The fire was completely controlled by 9:15 PM. There are no reported injuries.
GJFD responded with Truck 3, Engine 5, Brush 4, Brush 5, and a Battalion Chief. The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office Wildland Team responded to assist.
GJFD and other agencies in the valley depend on citizens to make responsible choices and prevent wildfires from happening in the first place. Knowing and observing Red Flag warnings plays a critical role. Red flags mean that conditions exist that if a fire starts, it will be extremely difficult or even impossible for crews to control, and it is important to avoid risky fire behavior on those days. Citizens can also use spring cleanup as an opportunity to create a defensible space around their homes by trimming trees and clearing brush within the first 10-30 feet of their home. Defensible space allows crews the safety and access in a wildfire to prioritize and protect homes.
For more information on this incident contact the Community Outreach Office at (970)549-5858 or by e-mail at GJFirePIO@gjcity.org.