Breckenridge firefighters extinguish small wildfire | SummitDaily.com

Breckenridge firefighters extinguish small wildfire

Elise Reuter
ereuter@summitdaily.com

Red, White & Blue firefighters responded to reports of 15-foot flames in the Louis Ranch area north of Breckenridge on Wednesday, Oct. 30. When the first units arrived on the scene around 4 p.m., they saw a wildfire extending 30-feet by 30-feet in a thickly wooded area off of County Road 450.

"The flames were 15-20 feet in the air. The rest of the timber was a matter of feet away," Red, White & Blue fire chief Jim Keating said. "It's fortunate somebody had seen it, because it would not have taken long for it to get into the timber."

Firefighters were able to respond quickly, as Red, White & Blue brought in 14 personnel and numerous fire apparatus, and Lake Dillon Fire brought in eight personnel and three apparatus. They brought the blaze under control within 20 minutes, and fully extinguished it within two hours.

Keating added that their speedy response "made all the difference in the world."

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, and Keating said the fire appeared to be accidental, though there were no campfires nearby. He added there were no burning permits in the area they checked.

The blaze was the first of the season in the Breckenridge area, with increased fire danger from the warm, dry weather leading up to the first frost.

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"We were thinking maybe we've made it all the way through the year but we didn't quite make it," Keating said.

Fire danger levels decreased from high to moderate at the beginning of the week due to increased moisture, meaning outside burning is once again permissible. In the last two weeks, Keating said he had seen more than eight unattended campfires.

"We've had some days with some pretty good wind," he added. "It doesn't take much for an ember or a spark to light the grasses."