Pine Ridge Fire Update - 12:20 pm, June 29, 2012

Firefighters conducted a successful burnout operation on the northeast flank of the fire, which created a fire break between the active fire and the Town of De Beque. Firefighters are continuing to secure this containment line today.

The evacuation order for the area east of I-70, west of 45 1/2 Road, and south of U Road remains in place. An evacuation center is set up at Palisade High School. For information about how to prepare for a possible evacuation, go to

Firefighters working the Pine Ridge Fire today are focusing on keeping the fire west of Interstate 70 and out of developed areas.

Interstate 70 is currently open in this area, but intermittent closures are expected today due to firefighting activity and smoke. Traffic has been diverted around I-70 between mile markers 62 and 49, but this detour could also be closed if the fire crosses I-70 or the smoke becomes an issue.

The fire is currently estimated at approximately 12,000 acres with 5 percent containment. Two helicopters are supporting firefighters today, and four air tankers are available.

Firefighters worked into the night last night burning out a fireline on the northeast side of the fire to help protect the Town of De Beque. They are continuing to secure that line today.

The evacuation on the southeast side of De Beque remains in place (south of U Road, west of 45.5 Road and east of I-70).

About 35 oil and gas wells are in the affected area of the fire. The operators have shut-in the wells, which means they are not producing oil and gas.

A Type 1 Incident Management Team will assume command of the fire tomorrow morning.

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