UPDATE: 6/2/22 - According to a news release from the U.S. Forest Service, fire investigators have determined the cause of the Simms Fire was the Simms Mesa Prescribed Burn project that took place on May 16. The report indicates a wind event caused the prescribed burn to escape containment lines and it was declared a wildfire.

We continue to get good news from the Simms Fire southwest of Montrose.

Simms Fire Stalls At 313 Acres

According to GMUG Fire Information, the Simms Fire acreage is at 313 acres with 100% containment. That has been the status of the fire for about a week now in the Ouray Ranger District of the Uncompahgre National Forest approximately 15 miles southwest of Montrose. The fire was first reported May 19.

GMUG Fire Information via Facebook
GMUG Fire Information via Facebook
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Nearly 50 Personnel Still Active

Two 20-person hand crews, an engine crew, and a heavy equipment crew remain on the scene where suppression efforts are expected to continue through this week. Crews continue to cut and hand pile limbs and timber for landowners affected by the fire. An infrared flight was performed on Monday and did not identify any hot spots near the perimeter of the fire. Crews this week reported wildlife moving back into the area.

GMUG Fire Information via Facebook
GMUG Fire Information via Facebookoh, ye
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Favorable Weather Conditions

Fire crews have been aided by favorable weather conditions. Although temperatures are warming up and it remains dry, diminished winds are expected in the area on Wednesday and Thursday. Sunday's cold front, cooler temperatures, and higher humidity was a big help as fire management has transitioned to Type 4 local resources.

GMUG Fire Information via Facebook
GMUG Fire Information via Facebook
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At one point, more than 200 firefighters were on the scene of the fire. That number has gradually diminished as crews have been able to control and contain the wildfire.

Cause of Fire Under Investigation

The wildfire was reported on May 19 causing numerous evacuations in the area by the Ouray and Montrose County Sheriff's Offices. At one point, the fire was estimated to be nearly 400 acres, but that total was reduced after crews were able to get on-sight verification of the perimeter of the fire. The cause of the fire remains under investigation, though a prescribed burn was reportedly being held in the area prior to the spread of the fire.

GMUG Fire Information via Facebook
GMUG Fire Information via Facebook
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Thankfully, the Simms Fire was quickly contained and no injuries were reported. We are early in the fire season and we can only hope that future fires can be as quickly contained and suppressed.

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