Fire crews were able to contain a small wildfire that ignited in the French Creek neighborhood in Breckenridge Sunday morning, even as the fire danger rating in Summit County climbed to “high.”
The blaze, which was discovered on a hillside between Magnum Bonum Drive and Royal Tiger Road, was believed to be human caused, according to a statement from the Red, White and Blue Fire Protection District.
“At this time we are working to determine if illegal fireworks or improperly discarded smoking materials are the cause of this fire,” chief Jim Keating stated in the release. “We are working with local law enforcement to have a zero-tolerance policy on illegal fireworks.”
Neighbors in the area reported hearing fireworks Saturday night.
Fire officials suspect the blaze may have sparked the previous evening, smoldered overnight and grown into full-blown flames when the sun hit the area Sunday morning. Red, White and Blue teams were called to the scene at approximately 7:30 a.m. and the first firefighters on scene dug a line around the blaze to keep it from spreading.
It was the first close call of the season for Summit County, as the fire danger rating climbed to high. Officials say timber in the county has dried out, helping prompt the escalation of the danger rating. High is the third-highest rating on a five-tiered scale used by local fire districts to warn the public of the danger given current conditions. High winds, low humidity and dry periods tend to push the danger rating up.
Fire officials stated Sunday that Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service officials in the region will discuss today the possibility of implementing fire bans if the weather does not change in the coming week.
Summit County is on track to be breezy and dry for the first part of the week, with highs staying in the 70s and the chance of thunderstorms on Thursday, according to forecasts from the National Weather Service.