Lake Christine Fire


Watch “Twisted Sister” in super slo-mo as the Helitanker drops-in for a 2,600 gallon refill at Kodiak Ski Lake four weeks after the Lake Christine fire started.
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Pyrocumulus (noun): A pyrocumulus, or fire cloud, is a dense cumuliform cloud associated with fire or volcanic activity. This Lake Christine fire pyrocumulus event happened Saturday, July 21, 2018.
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Here is a subtitled version of “Messages from the I.C.P” for the Spanish-speaking community. The Lake Christine fire management team has also provided Spanish translations for most of their public fire briefings.
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The Fire erupted on Saturday, July 21 when the fire moved into heavy “beetle-kill” fuels on the top of Basalt Mountain. The resulting conflagration created it’s own “pyrocumulus” clouds, according to meteorologist.
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The Lake Christine fire continued to grow Wednesday evening, July 18. Slurry bombers made retardant drops until sunset when the fire put on a colorful show.
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On Wednesday, July 18, the Lake Christine fire behavior dramatically increased when hot, dry weather and higher winds helped the fire spread to a new fuel source – thick forest on the top of Basalt Mountain.

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Heliocopter operations keep the sky’s over the Lake Christine fire filled with heavy lift choppers. They typically refill at the Kodiak Ski Lake across from Willit’s Town Center, then drop their loads on the stubborn northeast section of the fire.
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The Roaring Fork Valley gave it’s heart to the Lake Christine fire firefighters, first responders, and fire management team at the Incident Command Post (ICP). Now the team leaders want to send this message back to the community.

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Experience the Lake Christine fire as it nearly overruns El Jebel, and forces the frenzied evacuation of hundreds of homes on July 4, 2018. A handful of local firefighters saved the town by using flares to start backfires at the last second!

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The start of the El Jebel “blow up” at 8:52 p.m., as the fire crests the ridge above the Willits Town Center area. Note that there is almost no wind. Forty five minutes later, El Jebel was being frantically evacuated as the fire raced down the mountain. 

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The Lake Christine fire started July 3, 2018 after two people allegedly fired banned tracer ammunition” at the Basalt, Colorado shooting range. Although air support hit the fire quickly, darkness feel and the fire spread up Basalt Mountain.

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An estimated 750 neighbors from the fire-struck Basalt / El Jebel community gave surprised firefighters a heart-felt homecoming to Crown Mountain Park on Tuesday, July 10. Many emotional firefighters said they had never seen anything like it.

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Mike Almas, the Lake Christine fire Incident Commander, has a personal message to the Roaring Fork Valley community who would like to support wildland firefighters.

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I love watching the Chinooks refill their dump tanks with water. This became a common sight, day after day, as fire crews continue to corral the fire on Basalt Mountain above the town.

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The Fire continues to glow brightly at night nearly two weeks after it started. But do not worry, Matt Butler, a forest service fire behavior analyst, explains why the fire appears larger at night.  

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Hurray! Some valley residents got to return home starting Sunday, July 8, including these neighbors at Sagewood Court on Original Road. 

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A ominous taste of things to come! On June 22. a fire started at the Oak Meadows subdivision, between Glenwood Springs and Carbondale, and grew to 44 acres. These same “slurry bombers” fought the Lake Christine fire when it started on July 3.

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