This is the last update for Rocky Mountain Team Black. On Friday, a National Incident Management Organization (NIMO) will take command of the fire under the leadership of Incident Commander Mike Quesinberry.
Current Situation: On Wednesday, the fire grew 53 acres to its current size of 21,085 acres. The containment line on the southeast side of the fire was extended further to the west. Aircraft were used to drop both water and retardant on the southern side of the fire to minimize fire growth toward Pearl. Helicopters also worked the northern side of the fire around Forest Service Road (FSR) 415 to minimize growth towards identified values at risk. Crews evaluated other areas for potential containment lines in the grass/sage fuel type to the north. The structure group finalized a structure protection plan for communities to the north of the fire.
The weather forecast for the next several days is similar to the conditions prior to the large growth seen last weekend. The extensive unburned beetle-kill timber still present a concern for firefighters, and a possibility for more active fire behavior exists over the next few days. Firefighters will continue to engage the fire in fuel types that are more supportive of traditional suppression tactics, where they have the highest probability of success.
On Thursday, crews will continue to mop up and improve containment line on the southern and eastern edges of the fire. The firefighters will continue to focus on values at risk to the north and south and will activate structure protection in Pearl if necessary. If the fire comes out of Trent Creek to the north, crews will work to contain it in the grass/sage fuel type. Firefighters will also work towards solidifying a containment line where the fire is still burning on the northeastern side.
Weather: Challenging weather conditions are predicted over the next four days with temperatures five to ten degrees above normal and relative humidity values in the low teens. The forecast calls for temperatures in the upper 60s to lower 70s with wind gusts 20-25 mph.
Closures and Public Safety: An area closure is in place for National Forest System lands surrounding the Ryan Fire to ensure the protection of the public and fire personnel and will remain in effect until rescinded. This closure is on portions of both the Medicine Bow and Routt National Forests. The Ryan Fire area closure will primarily affect hunters with licenses in game management unit 161 in Colorado, as well as elk area 13 and deer area 81 in Wyoming. Hunters are encouraged to obtain a copy of the area closure map before heading into the field. The complete closure order (MBRTB-2018-265) and map are available on the Ryan Fire InciWeb page (https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6210/).