TELLER COUNTY, Colo. — Teller County firefighters said a 7-acre wildfire is a good opportunity for firefighters to teach people how dangerous the old Hayman burn area is once again.
Thursday’s Westcreek fire sparked off County Road 78 near the Painted Rocks camping ground. Firefighters said a couple that lives within two miles of the fire first noticed the smoke, vacated the area and called for help Firefighters said they got to the blaze before erratic winds were able to push it over a ridge, where it could have spread rapidly. A aerial drop of fire retardant was also diverted from another fire near Conifer to keep help contain the Westcreek fire quickly.
Teller County’s Deputy Fire Marshal Steven Steed said the Hayman burn scar is a dangerous spot for a wildfire because of the mix of new growth and extremely dry slash piles. “The growth is what we consider light, flashy fuels, which are fine grasses that dry out very quick and will burn very quick,” said Steed. No structures were destroyed in the fire, and no one was hurt. Within hours of the fire first being reported, only hot spots remained.
Firefighting duties transferred from the Teller County task force to the U.S. Forest Service by Thursday evening. It plans on using a 20-man hotshot crew for the next two days to keep make sure the fire “goes cold.” Steed said without those extra resources, Teller County might be looking at a repeat of the fire they fought Thursday. “Make sure that if a wind does come up that a burning ember, a smoldering log, isn’t going to reignite and take it into new fuels,” said Steed.
Source: (KRDO NewsChannel 13)