Lake Christine Fire Updates

Ongoing coverage of the Lake Christine Fire from Aspen Public Radio News

The following neighborhoods are on Pre-Evacuation Notice: Cedar Drive, Toner Creek, Seven Castles, and Taylor Creek - issued by the Eagle County Sheriff’s office

Mike McMillan / Lake Christine Fire PIO

The Lake Christine Fire continues to grow on Basalt Mountain, and hot, dry weather the past couple of days has meant increased activity. It’s estimated to be nearly 8,000 acres, and officials said it grew about 500 acres Wednesday.


The Lake Christine Fire forced almost 2,000 mid-valley residents to flee their homes on the Fourth of July. Firefighters battled the flames, and, after several days, evacuees returned to houses littered with ash.

Lake Christine Fire Updates

Jul 14, 2018

Update: July 16, 6:56 a.m.: The Lake Christine Fire is 6,822 acres and 59 percent contained. Weather conditions Sunday, including cooler temperatures and isolated showers, helped to moderate fire behavior. 

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

As the Lake Christine Fire continues to burn along the upper stretches of Missouri Heights, a handful of firefighters watched pink clouds of smoke billow on the hillside across from Spring Park Reservoir.

People are settling back at home after evacuating because of the Lake Christine Fire. Eagle County and area nonprofits are doing what they can to ensure people have what they need.

Christin Kay / Aspen Public Radio

As the Lake Christine Fire begins to be contained, valley residents are picking up the pieces. They’re unpacking their go-bags, sweeping ash from their doorsteps and checking on their neighbors. For some, the emotions of the past week may just be sinking in. Last Sunday, the Art Base in Basalt opened its doors to the community and offered a free “Art, Healing and HOPE” class, meant to help residents relieve stress and start to heal.  

The Lake Christine Fire has threatened the safety of valley residents. It’s also threatened their health.

Christin Kay / Aspen Public Radio

Crown Mountain Park is usually a pretty popular place on summer evenings.  But Tuesday evening, the sidewalk is lined with people cheering and holding signs as fire trucks drive in. Firefighters wave shyly.  Some are recording videos on their cell phones.

People who evacuated their homes last week because of the Lake Christine Fire are returning. Some have to pass through police checkpoints, which is how law enforcement is ensuring people are who they say they are, in order to cut down on crowds and to prevent looting.

Lake Christine Fire 31 Percent Contained

Jul 9, 2018
Alycin Bektesh / Aspen Public Radio News

  The Lake Christine Fire is still burning at 5,916 Acres and is now 31% contained.

Christin Kay / Aspen Public Radio

The Lake Christine fire could still burn for several weeks. The fire is burning in very steep terrain with pinyon-juniper and oak brush fuel. Oak fuel types tend to have thick leaf litter deposits accumulated over many years. This can harbor heat, and, when conditions are right, these fuels can reburn.


The Lake Christine Fire is estimated at 5,916 acres and 30 percent contained. 

Evacuated Communities Begin Re-entry

Jul 8, 2018

Starting July 8, some neighborhoods will be open for re-entry. Estimated sequencing and timeframes are:

8 a.m. 
El Jebel Trailer Park

2 p.m.
Big Pinion and Little Pinion
Shadow Rock
Original Road, Pine Ridge and Sagewood Court
Hillcrest, Silverado, Two Rivers for access to Hillcrest.

Checkpoints will be in place for 24 hours following the opening. Residents will need to need to show either a re-entry badge or photo ID with a physical address each time for security purposes.

Christin Kay / Aspen Public Radio News

Aspen Public Radio wants to wish firefighter Taylor Hunsaker a very happy birthday. Taylor is a father from Idaho. He’s fighting the Lake Christine Fire with the Northern Rockies incident management team. Taylor, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for being here in the Roaring Fork Valley! We hope that all of your good work and more comes back to you in the year ahead.

Christin Kay / Aspen Public Radio

There will be a public information meeting Saturday, July 7th, at the Basalt High School at 5:00 p.m. Current fire information and an update on evacuation status will be provided. The meeting will be live streamed on the Eagle County Sheriff's Facebook page.

Another public meeting is scheduled for Sunday at 5:00 pm at Basalt High School. 

Weekend Overview on the Lake Christine Fire

Jul 7, 2018

As of Saturday afternoon, the Lake Christine Fire is estimated at 5,434 acres and is three percent contained. It has destroyed three structures. Nearly 400 fire personnel are currently working the fire, including 12 handcrews, 20 engines, and five helicopters. 

Portions of the western flank of the fire have decreased in fire potential; Garfield County and Eagle County officials downgraded some evacuation orders and voluntary evacuations. 

Christin Kay / Aspen Public Radio

Symptoms related to wildfire smoke

-Eye, nose and/or throat irritation--runny eyes and/or nose.

-Coughing, sore throat.

-Trouble breathing or tightness of the chest, which may be symptoms of a health emergency.

-The onset of symptoms related to pre-existing respiratory ailments like asthma or emphysema.

-Especially following days or weeks of smoke exposure, increased short-term likelihood of getting a cold or having similar symptoms of less effective immune responses.

-If symptoms persist or are severe, contact your primary health care provider.


Alycin Bektesh / Aspen Public Radio News

Basalt Mayor Jacque Whitsitt speaks with Alycin Bektesh about the response from the community since the Lake Christine Fire began on Tuesday, July 3.

This week: live from the front lines of the Lake Christine Fire. Joining host Alycin Bektesh are Aspen Times reporter Scott Condon, David Krause editor of the Aspen Times, Craig Turpin, photojournalist with Aspen Daily News, and Aspen Public Radio’s Christin Kay.