Small Otter Creek wildfire controlled |

Small Otter Creek wildfire controlled

Lu Snyder

HEENEY – A small fire in Eagles Nest Wilderness that ignited earlier this week was under control by Tuesday evening. Fire officials still are patrolling the area to ensure there is no potential for reignition.

Slurry bombers dropped fire retardant on the Otter Creek fire, located between Black and Surprise lakes in the wilderness area near Heeney, after the fire was reported at 1:06 p.m. Monday.

Mike Liu, assistant district ranger for the Dillon ranger district of White River National Forest, said the fire was approximately one acre or less – smaller than initially reported. As of Tuesday evening, the fire was under control.

“The likelihood of the fire escaping and burning more ground is very low,” Liu said. But fire officials are waiting before announcing the fire is out.

“We don’t call it out until we’re certain there isn’t even a spark left,” Liu said, adding there were three to five people patrolling the area Wednesday, making sure no burning embers remained.

Fire officials usually wait a day after a fire is controlled before announcing it has been extinguished, Liu said, but they might extend that time by a few days because of the forest’s dry conditions.

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