The Basalt Chamber of Commerce is trying to consolidate information on this site. NOTE: The main OFFICIAL source of wildfire information is the incident management team via the Lake Christine Fire Facebook page and InciWeb site. Content is also being cross-posted through the Eagle County Sheriff's Office channels and through the county alert system (links below). Apologies for items not available in Spanish. Last updated on Wednesday July 25 at 4 p.m.
Please do not impede fire fighting operations by stopping to watch the fire.
Pre-evacuation notices still in effect: Missouri Heights, Cedar Drive, Toner Creek, Seven Castles, and Taylor Creek.
• Volunteers needed for National Night Out and the Basalt CommUNITY picnic. Details.
• Flooding information and links to resources are posted under Be Prepared.
• FEMA Warning: High Risk of Flooding After Wildfire | Get flood insurance before July 31.
• The Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) team has arrived. The BAER team does an assessment of post-fire threats, where are they likely to occur and how to deal with it.
• The air quality specialist has arrived. Air quality information is available here.
• How was your business impacted? Let us know by reaching out to the Basalt Chamber with feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org or (970) 927-4031.
Fire information highlights
Since Rocky Mountain Area Incident Management Team Black took over command, updates are being posted on the Lake Christine Fire InciWeb site and on the official Lake Christine Fire Facebook page. The incident management team posts daily summaries and bilingual status update videos multiple times a day, so it does not make sense to duplicate efforts here.
Older posts through July 20, 2018 are archived below.
How to get information
Official information sources
Official incident command updates and website
Lake Christine Fire InciWeb (Incident Information System) - This site contains current situation information via the Public Information Officer and Incident Command.
Lake Christine Fire Facebook page (home to posts, videos and Facebook LIVE streaming during community meetings).
Public information line: (970) 445-4911. If you do not get through immediately, please be patient.
Local resources - Eagle County Sheriff's Office
The Incident Command team continues to partner with the Eagle County Sheriff's Office and other local cooperators to disseminate information. Information from the official Lake Christine Fire sources is being cross-posted on these sites.
- NOTE: You do not need a Twitter account to read the updates; simply visit the URL.
Emergency Alert Systems
Phone/Text/Email updates are being sent via the different county emergency communication systems. This will include alerts for both fire AND flash flooding. It is recommended that you sign up for more than one county alert system. Sign-up via the links below:
Other county information
Use Facebook's subscribe feature for instant updates
In addition to the county alert system, you can modify your Facebook settings to receive notifications of any posts from the Eagle County Sheriff's Office (or a different Facebook page). This is also helpful if you want to receive notifications when there is a Facebook LIVE feed (especially if it is the Eagle County Sheriff's Office or The Aspen Times covering a press briefing).
At the top of each page find the Following button and from the drop down arrow, select "NOTIFICATIONS - On." If you would like to always see updates in your News feed select "IN YOUR NEWS FEED - See First." These notifications can always be changed back to the default at a later time. Detailed How To.
Twitter's mobile notification feature
Similar to Facebook, Twitter has a mobile notification features. If you have a Twitter account, follow the Eagle County Sheriff's Office Twitter page. To the right of the Following button, there are three vertical dots that show a drop-down menu. Select "Turn on mobile notifications" and you will receive an alert on your phone every time the account posts a new tweet.
Incident command is periodically updating an interactive Google Map with details about road closures, evacuated streets, evacuation centers and the fire's perimeter. NOTE: Since the fire can change rapidly, there may be delays in the updates. Please use the official Lake Christine Fire channels for the latest updates.
For those on a mobile device, it may be a challenge to see the key:
- Orange shaded area = pre-evacuation area;
- Blue dots = Flood potential/basin outflow points
- Red shaded area = fire perimeter
- Black line - Containment line
We cannot keep up with the amazing coverage that our local media is providing, so please go directly to their sites/Facebook pages/etc. Updates are being posted by the press as quickly as information is made available. We have noticed that overall local coverage has been much better than outlets based outside of the valley. These journalists are our neighbors and they have just as much at stake as we do – their dedication is reflected in their work.
- 88.1 Glenwood Springs, Carbondale, Rifle
- 88.3 Aspen, West Glenwood
- 88.5 Basalt, Redstone
- 99.9 Snowmass Village
Other radio stations are providing information as well.
Our local papers have been doing a great job with covering the #LakeChristineFire.
The Aspen Times/Post Independent - Great coverage and live streaming of important updates (use the same Facebook subscribe feature mentioned above for updates)
Archive (in reverse chronological order)
Fri 7/20 Community Meeting update: [VIDEO]
FIRE WEATHER: In the next few days there will be return of moisture to the area, with increase of showers and thunderstorms over the Lake Christine Fire area. Weather-related threats to fire fighting efforts include gusty winds and cloud to ground lighting. In the event of heavy rainfall the team will heavily monitor for the potential for flooding and debris flow in the surrounding areas, especially in the burn scare areas. Next week there is the potential for daily thunderstorms and warmer temperatures. The likelihood for moisture will decrease beyond Monday.
INCIDENT MANAGEMENT: The new Type 2 team took command on Friday morning. Most of the day was spent strategizing the best and safest way to approach the fire. The team is looking suppress the fire as fast as they can, but the safety of the fire fighters and the public comes first. There will soon be a new plan that will allow for making progress on the fire, but the fire will continue to burn, until there is a major event. The goal of wildland firefighters is to slow down the growth of the fire. As the fire continues to burn it becomes more of a nuisance. Please be patient - we will get through this
Division N (West/Northwest area of the fire by the Spring Park Reservoir) - The fire has been somewhat active in this area, crews are working to contain the western most portion of the fire line using a variety of methods. More staff is being added to this area and more planned for Saturday.
Division S (Northern section near Cattle Creek) - Resources are being put toward the structures on Cattle Creek in order to protect them, including hose lays (extending hose from a water source to the fire, allowing the delivery of water safely and effectively). More staff is being brought in to to reinforce work being done in order to make it safer for fire fighters.
Division W (Eastern section, Fryingpan/Seven Castles area) - Several resources are in the area. Firefighters were able to cut hand lines above the Seven Castles area, and they are planning and implementing a hand line down one of the ridges to the Fryingpan. Work will continue tomorrow with a large hose order incase the fire moves in that area. The team feels much better about how they would handle the fire if it moves in that direction, pulling it away from homes. By putting fire lines into place it allows the team to fight the fire on their terms. If the fire continues towards the Fryingpan area, hot shot crews and other specialists are able to put fire on the ground in a less intense manner. A less intense burn also reduces the chance of flooding.
Swing division (Southern section near the Town of Basalt) - Crews are out working the containment line area on the southern border of the fire. Engines continue to patrol the area at night.
FIRE ACTIVITY: Most of the fire growth has been to the North/Northeast, which is the location of the big smoke column. There are some active fires elsewhere within the larger zone, but the bulk of the fire is in the northern area. The fire's growth typically slows at night due to the higher humidity and lower temperatures.
A note about wildland fire - the fire teams don’t put it out, they simply stop the spread of the fire so it doesn’t burn what we care about. Even when the fire gets to 100% containment, we will still see smoke.
In terms of fire growth, spot fires (see the little island of fire to the east of the main fire) tend to get to a new area first, but typically the main fire follows right behind it. The pre-evacuation notices helps buy everyone some time. If you see flying glowing embers, this is bad as it can ignite fuel sources.
EAGLE COUNTY UPDATE: Flood typically follows fire, and the risk of a flood can last seven years after a fire incident. Eagle County has posted tips on its website. The county is highly encouraging property owners to talk to their insurance agents, as general homeowners insurance doesn’t always cover flooding. Residents (and renters) in the area are eligible to purchase flood insurance through the in the FEMA national flood insurance program [More details are posted on the page Returning home on this site. NOTE: Insurance may have up to a 30 day waiting period before it goes into effect.
Reminder - please register for the county alert systems [See the "How to get information" section below this for links.]. The incident command team will continue to use all alert system to send out messages.
PRE-EVACUATIONS: Pre-evacuations for Fryingpan area are out of abundance of caution (miles 1-7). This is so residents are prepared in case the weather changed quickly and moved the fire. The pre-evac notice will stay in place until the area is deemed safer.
Wed 7/11 Community Meeting update: [VIDEO]
FIRE WEATHER: The weather will continue to get drier and hotter after Thursday, with the drying trend extending from Friday through next week. Today we had a storm pass through with some wind, creating some smoke on the north end of the fire. The smoke will continue until we get significant rain.
INCIDENT MANAGEMENT: The Incident Management Team has begun discussions with agency partners about transitioning to a Type 3 skilled local team on Monday, July 16, 2018 at 6 a.m.
The timing of the next public meeting is in the works, and will be on either Saturday or Sunday. The meeting will occur once there is enough information as to what the future plans are for the wildfire, and the incident management team transition to a local team.
FIRE STATUS: It was a good day. The fire is currently up to 49% containment. As of this morning 6,015 acres had burned which was an increase of only 15 acres from the day before. Unfortunately additional acres burned due to an increase in the wind.
Division G ( the perimeter near Cedar Drive) has been focused on securing as much of the area as possible in order to allow residents back into their homes. Crews were flying the Chinook frequently to keep this area in check, trying to extinguish what they can. It is the only resource they can use because the terrain is so challenging.
Divisions R, Z, A - At the lower ends of the fire the focus has been on rehabilitating the fire lines, modifying them so the ditches can be better able to handle flooding concerns.
Division N - The fire is still moving to the north. With the weather that occurred today, the fire was pushed into a new fuel type - trees that are more likely to get embers in than the tree types the fire has been burning in the past few days. There were a few fire spots that went past the bulldozer line due to the wind, the helicopters and crews are working on them in order to contain it.
Even with all the smoke, the fire is moving in the direction the crew wants it to go - northeast where it does not pose a risk to Basalt and the surrounding communities.
EAGLE COUNTY UPDATE: After fire, the next concern is flooding. For example, the area is currently under a flash flood watch until 9 pm tonight. FEMA flood insurance information will be made available. REMINDER: Everyone is still on pre-exvacuation orders as fire can be unpredictable - be prepared to evacuate, and keep a Go Bag ready.
On Monday all the different land agencies will begin to work on mitigation and restoration plans.
CLOSURES: Lake Christine and trails near there have been closed by the Forest Service.
EVACUATIONS: All residents of Cedar drive may go home immediately. Reentry card will be made through the night. No more evacuations are in place!
Tue 7/10 update
The community came out in force to thank the firefighters. See Facebook for all the video posts.
Mon 7/9 Community Meeting update: [VIDEO]
FIRE WEATHER: More moisture is anticipated in the future, with Wednesday and Thursday being the best chance for thunderstorm activity (similiar to Sunday). There was more control of the fire today, although it was drier, so there may be a bit more fire (# of acres). Currently the fire is in rocky, steep terrain (subalpine fir). Subalpine fir is tough to fight in, as it throws lots of embers. The fire crew is working on a long term plan as to how to handle fighting the fire in this difficult terrain. Given the timing of both wildfire season and monsoon season, there is a good chance that the fire may reach the top of Basalt Mountain before it is out. Updates will be provided to the public as the team determines the timing.
FIRE STATUS: The fire is currently at 39% containment and they are aiming for 45% containment if not more by Tuesday. On the map (visible in the FB live event, and posted here) the solid black line represents solid containment of the fire (the 39%). The response team is being scaled appropriately based on the fire's current needs. As other fires are occurring throughout the state and the West, some fire crews are being moved to support those efforts. At this time between seven to eight crews remain in support of the Lake Christine Fire.
Division G (aka the Basalt Mountain area) has been the most challenging. 60 people continue to work on putting a containment line around the fire and isolate the heat. The Chinook (double bladed helicopter) has been exclusively flying in this area to attack the sports where fire personnel cannot safely enter. The team continues to work on securing the Fryingpan Road and Cedar Road areas before allowing those residents back into their home.
Division N (north of El Jebel) - the team continues to work on the fire's edge (in an area dubbed "the Camel's head"), attacking it from both sides in order to make the area safe enough to send in fire crews. The area has been challenging due to the presence of the power lines, but fire crews are working in collaboration with the utility company. The power company is "working its tails off" to get the transmission towers up and running. There are currently 14-15 poles still on fire or broken off in this area. It is going to take a few days to make this area safe.
Five fire patrols continue to patrol at night to ensure the South line (the line closest to Basalt) is maintained.
HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: All Eagle County Public Health and Human Services will be provided out of its MIRA mobile resource center at the El Jebel Mobile Home Park (9 a. m - 4 p.m.). Services available: WIC, Medicaid, SNAP, re-entry heath and safety concerns. MIRA will also be the location for re-entry badges. Mind Springs Health is available to help individuals impacted by the wildfire, and can be reached at (888) 207-4004.
EVACUATION ORDERS: Evacuation orders have been lifted for the residents East of Cattle Creek Road (even # addresses), including Blue Creek Trail, Blue Creek Overlook, Vista Hi Drive and the three houses on the road in between (with no name) will be allowed to return to their homes at the roadblock with proper credentials. The roadblock will remain in place through the night to ensure that only residents from that area access the area. Also El Jebel Road will be opening at the blue silo, so direct entry will be possible.
UPCOMING MEETINGS: The next Public Information Meeting will be on Wednesday, July 11 at 6:30 p.m., Basalt High School. Meetings will now occur every two days, starting Wednesday, unless the situation changes that requires a meeting sooner. Any additional meetings outside of that schedule will be posted on the Eagle County Sheriff's Office Facebook page.
Town Manger's Update - Monday, July 9
WATER RESTRICTIONS: Stage Two watering restrictions will remain in effect today (7/9). We are monitoring the water tank levels in our upper zone. As displaced residents are returning back to their homes, we are taking a conservative approach and will continue to keep the watering restrictions in place until we are confident that there will be no further impact to the water system due to the wildfire.
FLOODING MITIGATION: Town staff will be arranging a planning meeting with partner agencies to discuss the risks of flooding. We will begin to look at mitigation measures and deploy those as soon as possible. This weekend the Public Works staff were out clearing culverts along to Rivers Road. This will allow floodwaters to pass under the road and not lead to further closures.
EVACUATIONS: All Town of Basalt residents have now been allowed back in their homes. There remains an evacuation order for some of the County residents east on Cedar Drive and on the east side of Upper Cattle Creek Road in Missouri Heights. Two Rivers Road has re-opened to the public.
THANK YOUs: Town staff, thanks to Counselor Slack's efforts, are putting up the 'Thank You' signs for our first responders. We have placed one at the roundabout coming into Downtown Basalt and at the roundabout in Willits. Counselor Slack placed two banners yesterday in the area where the firefighters and first responders are staged.
INFORMATION FLOW: Mayor Jacque Whitsitt , Chief Knott (BPD) and I have been attending morning meetings for the last several days to get updates from Incident Command. Many of the partner agencies in the fire efforts are attending as well; information from these meetings is the main source for the updates found on the information sites for the public [Editor's note: Including this website].
Sun 7/8 Community Meeting update:
30% of the fire has been contained, and because of this progress (latest details are posted here). The incident command team will soon release up to 200 people on the crew to help fight other fires. A bulldozer line has been put in (between North of El Jebel and Spring Park Reservoir) to help push the fire away from structures and other important areas. If the fire moves, the bulldozer line should help mitigate its progress. Division G (aka the Basalt Mountain area) - 60 people are dealing with the smoke in this area. The team is trying to steer the fire into areas where it cannot find fuel (i.e. locations with rocks, instead of trees).
There will be a lot of smoke coming from the Basalt Mountain hillside for the next few weeks. Generally, on the fire's edge there will be activity including smoke during the day, and a glow at night. When a rain storm rolls in, the wind is pushing the fire back into itself, burning whatever may remain in the original fire areas. Please do NOT call in to 911 for the candlelight-like flames that may be seen on the hills - these are simply fuels that are burning out. Wildfire-related calls to 911 should be used if there is fire directly impacting your house.
At night there are a patrols of fire engines watching to ensure nothing is crossing the managed fire line. Please drive slowly in town as there are still a lot of fire equipment and fire fighting materials around.
Town Manger's Update - Saturday, July 7
FLOODING MITIGATION: Public Works crews have been out on Two Rivers Road clearing the ditches in case we do get some rain. The Town of Basalt is now starting to map potential flooding areas, however the good news is the risk of mudflow is lower given the fact that Basalt Mountain is mostly volcanic rock. Regardless, we will be working to protect the town as best we can from any potential flooding.