Interstate 70 will remain closed between Glenwood Springs and Gypsum, Colo., as the Grizzly Creek Fire rages away uncontrolled. The fire, which began on July 31, grew in size again over the weekend and now covers over 25,000 acres and is considered 0% controlled by fire authorities.
Interstate 70, which is the main national route connecting Colorado to Utah, has been closed for a full week. No timeline for reopening I-70 was given by officials, and photos released show significant damage to the road and fires burning up the the roadside. The closure has reportedly caused semi-truck and tourist traffic to spread onto backcountry roads where multiple accidents have been reported.
FS Road 400, Eagle-Thomasville Road, has closed due to excessive traffic and accidents resulting from drivers attempting to use this primarily dirt road as an alternate to the I-70 closure. Cottonwood Pass Road in Garfield and Eagle counties and other rural roads are also closed.
Independence Pass had been closed due to increased traffic and semi-trucks attempting to negotiating the road’s hairpin curves, but outcry from officials in neighboring counties led to a limited reopening of the road on Friday.
The Aspen Times reported that a Garfield County commissioner called officials from neighboring Pitkin County “disrespectful, arrogant, gutless and selfish” for closing Independence Pass.
Miles away, the Pine Gulch fire is burning 18 miles north of Grand Junction. The Pine Gulch fire now encompasses 85,407 acres and is at 7% containment.
For more information regarding road closures go to www.cotrip.org.