Summit County wildfire danger upped after Breck firefighters respond to two calls
Summit County’s wildfire season has been mild thanks to consistent summer rain, but firefighting officials are reminding local residents and visitors that the season is far from over.
On Wednesday, the local wildfire danger was upped from “low” to “moderate” after the Red, White and Blue Fire Department responded to two fires that may have been ignited by campers.
“With fall comes frost and lately some dry windy days,” said Red, White and Blue Fire chief Jim Keating in an email to the Summit Daily News. “We ask that extreme care be used with all outside fires.”
The first fire ignited Sunday in the upper Huron Heights area and remained small. The second fire occurred Tuesday near Red Tail Ranch and burned a 750-square-foot area before being extinguished. Red, White and Blue firefighters worked Tuesday’s fire for more than two hours and credit the resident who spotted the fire for immediately calling 911.
Both fires appeared to have started from unattended or improperly extinguished campfires and were located in very remote areas, Keating said, which added to the time it took firefighters to locate, hike to and lay extended hose lines to battle the blazes.
“While the soil may appear wet, the vegetation is drying each day and can contribute to rapid fire spread from a small ember or spark from a campfire,” Keating said in the email. “We cannot stress enough the importance of properly extinguishing a campfire. Just throwing a little soil over the fire will not suffice, as it can continue to smolder and emit embers that can be carried in the wind.”
Although the wildfire season has been relatively uneventful in Summit County, other areas of the country haven’t been as lucky.
On Wednesday, the Red, White and Blue Fire Protection District received orders to deploy one wildland engine and a crew of three firefighters to help battle the King fire located about 60 miles outside of Sacramento.
Firefighters should have arrived at the scene Thursday. This is the second time Red, White and Blue firefighters have been deployed to California this season.
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