GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — It was an anxious moment on the afternoon of Aug. 14 when the Grizzly Creek Fire operations flight passed over Hanging Lake in Glenwood Canyon. White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams and Marcia Gilles, deputy district ranger for the Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District, were on that flight. They were fully prepared for a sinking feeling, not knowing the fate of the iconic lake and surrounding features — a visit to which could be described as a pilgrimage for some people, rather than a mere day-hike destination. The Grizzly Creek Fire started Aug. 10, and has since grown to more than 50 square miles (129 square kilometers) with 68% containment. The fire made two big runs covering several miles on Aug. 12 and 13 when it overtook the Hanging Lake area. “From the get-go, we were not able to do any fire suppression or mitigation or anything in Hanging Lake,” Fitzwilliams said in an exclusive interview with the Glenwood Springs Post Independent/Colorado Mountain News Media, describing those early days of the fire. The fire began in the median along Interstate 70 near the Grizzly Creek area, several miles west of Hanging Lake. It quickly spread… Read full this story
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