Summit County firefighters mopping up hotspots on small ‘117 Fire’ north of Silverthorne
SILVERTHORNE — A small wildfire broke out at the intersection of Colorado Highway 9 and Heeney Road on Saturday, Oct. 24.
The fire, which the Summit County Sheriff’s Office referred to as “117 Fire” because of its location near mile marker 117, started around 7 a.m. Saturday. Investigations found that the cause of the fire was a blown transformer, Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons said.
Highway 9 was closed in the area until about 9:30 a.m. when it opened to single lane traffic. All lanes reopened around 11 a.m.
Crews from Summit Fire & EMS, Grand County Fire District, the sheriff’s office and Red, White and Blue Fire District all reported to the scene. By 9 a.m. firefighters had the fire under control and were clearing smoke and debris, FitzSimons said.
At around 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Red, White and Blue Fire Chief Jim Keating said two Summit Fire & EMS crews remained on the scene monitoring the fire and putting out any hot spots that remain.
He expects firefighters to be working the area into the night in an effort to prevent an ember from sparking due to wind.
“It’s not traveling, it’s not really a danger,” Keating said. “It’s just something that they’re going to have to monitor until it’s completely out.”
Firefighters expect Sunday’s snow to help put out any leftover smoke or embers.
The fire spanned about 1 acre total. No structures or homes were ever in danger throughout the entire process, according to a tweet from the sheriff’s office.
Zach Ostrander, who was hunting along a ridgeline to the east of Colorado Highway 9, said he saw the fire break out around 7 a.m.
“It quickly caught some brush and went into some willows and there’s a little island of cottonwood trees, right there,” he said. “Then there was a pretty quick run of grass fire that was headed towards a ditch of willows. If that had caught it would have been bad. (Firefighters) did a pretty good job of tamping that out really quick.”
At around 9 a.m. Ostrander said crews appeared to be cleaning up and the fire was out.
“The fire department and police got on it quick,” he said. “They do a great job.”
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