CURRENT FIRE UPDATE, – Campgrounds reopen!

This is one of the county’s fire fighting trucks, a big truck!




Little Sand Fire Evening Update – Tuesday June 5, 2012

Pagosa Springs, CO – The Little Sand Fire experienced increased fire activity as expected on the southwest side of the fire as it moved into Yankee bowl where isolated torching caused an increase in visible smoke.


The northeast corner of the fire was fairly quiet, with some visible smoke in the Trail Creek area as it continues to back down to Trail Creek. Crews are in position and continue working where they can, to access the fire. Structure protection remains in place and can be used if needed. The northwest and southeast corners are still being monitored.


The Type 3 team has ordered the Unaweep Wildland Fire Module out of Grand Junction, CO, who will return tomorrow.


*Palisades, Teal, and Cimarrona Campgrounds opened today. Bridge Campground will remain closed. *


Remaining closures of roads, trails and campgrounds can be found at: which will be updated later today.


Contact: Brandy Richardson, PIO


Phone: 970.444.2201


Recorded Message: 970.264.4731







Posted by Archuleta Emergency Management at 5:32 PM


Posted by Archuleta Emergency Management at 11:18 AM


Pagosa Springs, CO

Much of the risk associated with the Little Sand Fire has greatly reduced. Fire containment is at 20%. Crews have completed structure protection, as well as line on the east side of the fire down to Trail Creek. Crews completed line around the spot on the northeast corner and tied in line to the main fire. Possible thunderstorm activity is expected for the area today, which could bring shifting winds, affecting fire behavior.

Crews will monitor and hold the line around the spot east of Trail Creek that is now incorporated into the main fire. Increased smoke may be visible at times when the fire reaches unburned fingers as it backs down to Trail Creek. The area along the Piedra River has cooled some. Crews will continue to monitor completed line along the Piedra River and Sand Creek, as well at the northwest corner of the fire which hasn’t grown much. Crews will continue to hold and improve line on the lower end of Trail Creek. The structure group will continue to clean up completed protection areas.


Closures of roads, trails and campgrounds can be found at:

Fire stats at a glance:


Start Date

: May 13th, 2012


: Lightning


: 4,959


: 261


: 6

Cooperating Agencies

: Hinsdale County, Archuleta County, USFS, CSFS


(1) Type 1, 2, and 3 Helicopter, Air Attack, and Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR)


: 5


: 1

Structures destroyed

: 0

Structures threatened

21 and additional outbuildings

Cost to date

: $1,700,000



Websites: Twitter:



Laura McConnell, PIO2


Lead Information Officer


Rocky Mountain IMT2 – Team B


Little Sand Fire 2012


Public Information Office


(970) 444-2201- Information line


(970) 264-4731- Recorded information


The  “Support Beast” for the fire fighting effort has moved into Pagosa Springs. The term “beast” is used to mean any large group that moves about the country ready land on a site and do its job.


The area just south of the high school is being consumed by the fire support effort. Tents are blooming over the hillside.

Two large trailers are built with entire stainless steel kitchen facilities inside.

More trailers with toilet and bathing facilities. There are more than shown here!

Under tent and open air tables are being set up to feed the hungry heros.

See this photo in expanded format here. 

Looking down the Piedra River from the lookout along the road.

See this photo in expanded format here.

Looking over the south end of Poma Ranch.

A huge thank you from Pagosa Springs to all the fire fighters, other workers and volunteers helping with this important effort.  

Little Sand Fire Update


Additional Notes: If you would like to receive email notices please send a message to the email address above



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Take a break while you can! It takes strong people and strong bonding to do this job. File photo.


Smoke from the burning of the underlayer in the forest, a healthy fire. This type of burning creates new forage for all wildlife in the future.


Inside Lloyd pours over the map for people wanting to know where the fire is NOW.


Across the road fire equipment is stationed and ready for action.


Archuleta County crews were in the area Saturday and Sunday making sure the residents and others were accounted for and informed.


 Approximately 60 firefighters, 1 dozer, and 2 helicopters, as well as overhead personnel, are now assigned to the fire.


Fire managers hope to be able to do a reconnaissance flight of the fire area Sunday when the smoke lifts. A Type 2 Incident Management Team has been ordered and should start arriving on Sunday. The team was ordered due to the increase in size and complexity of the fire. Another community meeting for south Hinsdale County residents was held Sunday at the Sportsmen’s Lodge.

Fire crews flew Sunday checking on the fire. There was a larger chopper dropping water to stop fire movement into unwanted areas.


The lightning-caused fire was first detected on May 13th.  Until today, fire behavior had been very moderate as the fire burned through dead and down material on the forest floor.


The following closures remain in effect:  The Lower Weminuche Trail #595 and Little Sand Trail #591 remain closed. The Piedra River Trail #596 is also closed from Piedra River Trailhead at its northern terminus down river to Sand Creek. To provide for public and firefighter safety, the Forest Service has also instituted a closure for the area north and west of the Piedra Trail up to the Mosca Road.


Local Ranger Paul Blackman was doing an information service for visitors.

For additional information about the fire, contact Fire Information Officer Pam Wilson at 970-799-2926 or Brandy Richardson at (970) 264-1530.


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Brandy Richardson

Public Information Officer

Pagosa Ranger District

(970) 264-1530

[email protected]