Lightning sparks small wildfire north of Keystone

A small plume of smoke rises from the Frey Gulch Fire north of Keystone on Sunday. Crews expect to continue battling the small blaze that’s torch about half an acre today.
Eli Pace /

A crew with the U.S. Forest Service spent Sunday evening working to suppress a small wildfire after it flared up earlier in the afternoon in the upper Frey Gulch drainage, east of Tenderfoot Mountain and north of Keystone.

Multiple agencies responded to the blaze, named the Frey Gulch Fire, that was apparently caused by a lightning strike. According to the Forest Service the fire has burned about a half acre of timber.

Because of the location and size of the fire, there are no closures or evacuations at this time.

Crews reported they would continue to try to suppress the flames Sunday evening and return today with additional personnel. Helicopters could be used to aid firefighters on the ground and contain the fire’s spread.

Additionally, the fire is in a largely remote area — beyond the Summit County landfill and shooting range — where no structures are currently being threatened by the flames.

Authorities are asking people not to call 911 to report smoke. Firefighters are also reminding the public that unauthorized use of drones poses serious risks to the firefighters’ and public’s safety and to the effectiveness of wildfire suppression operations.

“Please remember: If you fly, we can’t,” states a Forest Service news release.

The Dillon Ranger District of the White River National Forest would like to remind everyone that building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire is prohibited in the Tenderfoot Mountain area. The ban went into effect May 15 and is scheduled to remain in effect until May 15, 2020, unless rescinded sooner.

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