Crews Make Progress on the Bench Fire

Smoke rising from fire in the distance.
Smoke rises from the Bench Fire as seen from the Zenobia Fire Lookout

NPS/Daniel Hazen

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News Release Date: July 27, 2016

Contact: Dan Johnson, (435) 781-7702

Updated July 28, 2016 to reflect that the Yampa Bench Road has reopened to the public.

Dinosaur, Colorado – Fire crews continued successful suppression efforts on the Bench Fire over the past several days. The Bench Fire is located north of the Yampa Bench Road, approximately two miles west of Haystack Rock.

The fire was spotted by the lookout in the Round Top Fire Tower after a storm moved over the eastern portion of the monument on Friday, July 22. There was no significant growth since Sunday. The Bench Fire remains at approximately 570 acres. 

The interagency fire crews started to demobilize on Wednesday, July 27th.The remaining fire resources will continue to monitor the fire through Friday.Estimated containment on the fire as of Wednesday, July 27 is approximately 85%. Smoke may still be visible for several weeks from interior areas of the fire. Local resources will continue to check and monitor the fire over the next several weeks. 

In addition to Federal agencies, assistance on the fire was provided by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Jensen Fire Department (Utah), Montrose Fire Department, Poudre Valley Fire Department, and Northwest Fire Protection District from Fairplay (Colorado). 

The temporary road closure for through traffic on the Yampa Bench Road between Thanksgiving Gorge on the monument's east boundary and the Castle Park Overlook to the west was lifted Wednesday evening, July 27th. The road is now open to the public.

Last updated: July 28, 2016

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4545 Hwy 40
Dinosaur, CO 81610


(435) 781-7700

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