Firefighters manage to extinguish small blaze near Peak 8
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY —Residents of Breckenridge and Summit County are being asked to help find a suspect who is trying to start a forest fire.
Police detectives and fire investigators say several small fires were set intentionally in the forest near Breckenridge may have been started Sunday and smoldered overnight before igniting Monday afternoon as temperatures climbed and the humidity dropped.
Residents of the area saw reported smoke Monday afternoon. Firefighters quickly responded to the area near the Cucumber Gulch Trailhead and Settlers Road. They were able to extinguish the fire before it grew out of control.
“The fire was creeping up some trees,” said Breckenridge Police Department Detective Alex Blank. Firefighters felled the trees and piled them to douse the flames.
After putting out the fire, investigators found multiple locations where fires were started or were attempted. At the scene, investigators discovered a copy of the book Home to Holly Springs and a can of Cutter’s bug spray, possibly used as an fire starter, along with matches.
Based on the size, the accessible location and the use of Cutter bug spray, Blank speculated that the fire may have been the work of a young adult rather than someone intent on starting a large forest fire.
The Breckenridge Police Department is asking citizens who may have noticed any suspicious activity in this area or smelled smoke between Sunday and Monday afternoon to contact the Police Department at 970.453.2941, the Red, White and Blue Fire District at 970.453.2474 or the Arson Information Hotline at 1-877-892-7766 to share information.