Grizzly Creek Fire

It’s been almost nine months since the Grizzly Creek Fire burn scar area was at its most stark, in August, but the dangers of debris flow, mudslides and floods persist. It was those risks — coupled with forecasts for inclement weather — that led to the Colorado Department of Transportation closing rest areas and recreation paths through Glenwood Canyon along Interstate 70 Sunday evening.

As the forecasted rain became more and more likely Sunday afternoon, the Colorado Department of Transportation opted to close rest areas and the recreation path along Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon, beginning at 5 p.m., according to a press release.

Specifically, the reason for the concern was the Grizzly Creek Fire burn scar area — namely, the increased risk of debris flow, mudslides or rockfall in the event of adverse weather. The closure affected No Name, Grizzly Creek, Hanging Lake and Bair Ranch rest areas, the CDOT announcement explained.

“The closure is anticipated to continue overnight and is necessary for CDOT to be prepared in the event of a safety closure for I-70,” it continued.

As of Sunday evening, I-70 itself remained open — but the transportation agency emphasized that travelers check for up-to-date status information. Particularly if a flash flood watch for the Grizzly Creek burn scar area occurs, CDOT will have personnel and equipment on standby in order to close the highway corridor.

“If there is a flash flood warning for the Grizzly Creek burn scar, CDOT will close I-70 in Glenwood Canyon from Exit 116 (Glenwood Springs) to Exit 133 (Dotsero),” the release noted. “Only local traffic on I-70 will be allowed east of Exit 109. All traffic in the canyon will immediately be evacuated from I-70. CDOT, Colorado State Patrol and local agencies will assist with evacuating the canyon as quickly as possible. The safety closure will continue until CDOT determines it is [safe to] reopen I-70.”