On Thursday, there was a 10 percent jump in containment announced for the Ice Fire burning west of Silverton near the Ice Lakes trailhead in San Juan County.
The Ice Fire is estimated at 583 acres in size as of Thursday morning, with containment increasing from 15 percent to 25 percent since last reported. One hundred firefighters remain on the scene of the backcountry blaze, which broke out Monday afternoon.
#icefire The Ice Fire is now 25% contained and 583 acres. Smoke on left is from a burnout operation this afternoon to secure the fire's western flank. More information is on Facebook @2020icefire or on Inciweb: https://t.co/mzrg4Fio91 pic.twitter.com/lz7jrNxQBp— SanJuanNF (@SanJuanNF) October 22, 2020
Video shown below from Brad Pietruszka captures a helicopter dipping water from Ice Lake.
While the forecast is calling for up to 20 inches of snow, strong gusty winds continue to pose challenges in the fight against the blaze.
"There’s going to be a lot of wind on the fire before the snow," Incident Commander Brad Pietruszka cautioned firefighters on Thursday.
The cause of the fire is unknown and remains under investigation. Smoke is expected to be visible on Highway 550. Surrounding areas and communities, including Silverton and Durango, will also be impacted. For more information, please visit colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/wood-smoke-and-health.
A forest area closure remains in effect for the area of the fire on the San Juan National Forest. Going in or being upon all NFS land in the Mineral Creek watershed and all NFS lands bounded in the north by the Ophir Pass road (NFSR 679) south to the Southern ridge above South Mineral Canyon, including Rolling Mountain, Twin Sisters, and Bear Mountain, and US Highway 550 on the east to the Forest Boundary with the Uncompahgre NF on the west, is prohibited.
The Ice Lakes Trailhead is an 8.2-mile out-and-back trail located in the San Juan Mountains near Silverton. The trail is extremely popular among hikers and backpackers thanks to its beautiful turquoise high alpine lakes. Several peaks can also be climbed from the upper basin including Vermillion, Fuller, Pilot Knob, and Golden Horn.