Update: All lanes reopen after wildfire closes I-70 near Edwards
Editor’s note: This story was updated at 9:15 p.m. Thursday.
EDWARDS — A four-acre grassfire closed the interstate and drove home the region’s high fire danger.
According to Eagle River Protection District Chief Karl Bauer, the first reports started rolling in at 5:11 p.m., all reporting blazes on the south side of Interstate 70.
U.S. Forest Service firefighters said the blaze started downhill from the interstate and worked its way up toward the road. It made it to the guardrail on the south side of the interstate, scorched a few guardrail posts and moved east with the wind.
The fire did not jump I-70, as initially feared, which would have put it in the yard of the Shaw Regional Cancer Center and residential neighborhoods.
“Because it started late in the day, we got a break,” Bauer said about cooling temperatures in the evening.
Emergency crews confirmed the blaze at 5:26 p.m., and Eagle River Fire Protection District, the Vail Fire Department, Greater Eagle Fire Protection District and the Gypsum Fire Department were all on scene.
With traffic stopped along I-70, crews from other fire protection districts had a difficult time reaching the scene, Bauer said
“With the red flag warning and the wind, we’re not surprised that a spark would spread quickly,” said Tracy Leclair of the Eagle River Fire Protection District. “Luckily, we crews were able to be on the scene almost immediately.”
This story is from VailDaily.com.
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