Powerline identified as cause of blaze; late afternoon winds fuel spot fires
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — More than 20 firefighters from Lake Dillon Fire Rescue, Copper Mountain Fire and Red, White and Blue Fire Rescue Monday afternoon battled a small wildfire on Denver Water land, between Keystone and Montezuma.
The fire was reported at about 2:30 p.m. and the Summit County Sheriff’s Department reported that the fire was mostly contained by about 4:30 p.m. but winds gusting up to 40 mph have driven the growth of a spotfire on the north side of the road that has grown to five acres and now potentially threatens two houses, where residents have been asked to evacuate.
Wildland fire crews from Kremmling and Vail are expected to be en route shortly. Two hand crews and three Type-6 engines have also been requested from the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Unit.
While there were still patches of snow on the ground in the area, a few weeks of warm and dry weather have dried out some of the grasses and other fuels in sunny spots.
Representatives from the US Forest Service, High Country Training Center, Summit County Ambulance, Keystone Emergency Services and the Summit County Sheriff’s Office also responded.
The fire was just a few miles from the site of a June, 2011 fire that was also sparked by a power line.
The fires underscore the importance of continuing efforts to clear beetle-killed trees from power line corridors around the state.