Fire officials suspect arson in Monday night’s car fire |

Fire officials suspect arson in Monday night’s car fire

Summit Daily/Brad Odekirk Lake Dillon Fire Authority Lt. Kim McDonald takes pictures Tuesday morning of a burned out vehicle at the Straight Creek trailhead. In the background, Lake Dillon Fire Authority Deputy Chief Jeff Berino and Chief John Young talk to Forest Service law enforcement officer Jill Wick about the suspicious circumstances of the fire. A motorist driving on I-70 noticed the flames and reported it.

SUMMIT COUNTY – Fire officials suspect an arsonist is responsible for setting a car on fire in a ravine near the Straight Creek trailhead in Dillon Valley late Monday night.A passing motorist on Interstate 70 called in the fire just before midnight on Monday.

One Lake Dillon Fire Authority engine responded and discovered a 1998 Ford Expedition that had been driven into the ravine, according to a release from the fire department.”There was clear evidence that it was arson,” said Lake Dillon Fire Authority Deputy Chief Jeff Berino. Fire officials also believe the vehicle belonged to a local resident of Summit County.

The car did not spark a surrounding wildfire because it was driven into a ravine filled with wet willows, the release said.Fire officials appreciate the public’s help in calling in fires immediately.

“We have had numerous human-caused fires in the past 10 days. The quick response to them has prevented the fires from spreading and we’ve been able to contain them,” Berino said.The fire department and the Summit County Sheriff’s Office will continue to investigate the fire.People with any information on this fire, or any of the recent wildland fires in the county, should call Jeff Berino at (970) 513-4104, the police department or the Forest Service office.

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