Firefighting center 
in Clifton shuts down 
as crews follow blazes

The mobilization center that sprung up at Grand Mesa Middle School in Clifton as a temporary home for wildland firefighters was decommissioned on Saturday, with fire crews there either repositioned to other staging areas in the Rocky Mountain region or sent back to their home units.

As many as 400 firefighters were expected to stay on the school grounds during the mobilization, ready to be transferred to fight blazes in Colorado and Wyoming, as well as Kansas, Nebraska and South Dakota.

“We cannot thank this community enough for their unending support of our firefighters,” said mobilization center manager John Fitchner in a press release.

“The crews who spent time at (the center) have unanimously expressed appreciation of the many donations by individuals and businesses that have made their stay here both pleasant and memorable,” he said.

High-risk conditions like dry lightning and low humidity have subsided over the past few days, and firefighters have been able to maintain control of the few fires still burning in the region.

The East Fork Fire southeast of Montrose, burning in high elevation and rough terrain near Silver Jack Reservoir, has been at 40 percent containment for about the past week, and the latest report had it burning 447 acres.

Command of that fire was transferred to a local Type 3 Incident Management Team on Friday. Type 3 teams are smaller and typically consist of more local firefighting resources.


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