Ptarmigan Fire 25% contained, sheriff cites steep terrain and dry brush for slow going efforts |

Ptarmigan Fire 25% contained, sheriff cites steep terrain and dry brush for slow going efforts

A helicopter approaches the Ptarmigan Fire near Silverthorne on Tuesday, Sept. 28. The fire ignited on Monday, Sept. 27 and by Saturday, Oct. 2 it was at 25% containment.
Joe Staley/Courtesy photo

Crews are one step closer to having the Ptarmigan Fire contained. According to Summit County Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons, the fire is at 25% containment and, though it’s a step in the right direction, the fire’s location is what’s causing the seemingly slow movement.

FitzSimons reported that it’s mostly the steep terrain that’s making the fire a difficult one. The fire has also divided up into two sections. FitzSimons described it as though crews were fighting two, 40-acre fires separated by a drainage. That, coupled with the fact that there’s a lot of dry and dead brush in the area, is why containment efforts seem to be slow going. Nevertheless, FitzSimons said firefighting efforts on Saturday, Oct. 2, were still successful.

The fire remains at about 86 acres. About 204 firefighting personnel in addition to air support were used on Oct. 2 and will continue to be used throughout the rest of the weekend.

Trails and roads in the area will remain closed as efforts continue. While all evacuations have been lifted, all areas — including Hamilton Creek, Angler Mountain Ranch, South 40 and Ptarmigan neighborhoods as well as people who live east of Summit County Road 2020 and north of Summit County Road 2021 — remain in pre-evacuation status. Residents are advised to be vigilant and ready to go should conditions change. Pre-evacuation orders are expected to remain in place throughout the weekend.

In the meantime, FitzSimons noted that individuals need to stay out of the closure area. He said there’s still a lot of equipment in the area and lingering community members could inhibit firefighting efforts.

The cause for the fire remains under investigation.

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