The 2011 fire season is getting off to a busy start. The Guffey-based SPCFPD had their second wildfire of the season in less than a week. This second fire, which started on the evening of Wednesday, March 16th, was located near the Guffey gorge on CR 102 almost at the Park County/Teller County line, and consumed about two acres, according to incident commander Deputy Fire Chief Don Felton.
The fire appeared to have been started by a discarded cigarette butt, said Felton. The fire burned about 100 yards along the county roadway and then up towards the ridge running along the road to the north, said Felton.
SPCFPD responded with ten firefighters, two type-6 brush trucks, two 4000-gallon water tenders and an ambulance.
Felton called for mutual aid from nearby Four-Mile Fire Protection district in Teller County and they responded with five firefighters, two type-6 brush trucks and a 1000-gallon water tender, according to Felton.
The Guffey gorge is on BLM land, so the forest service also responded with their Battalion 10, a type 6 brush truck out of Lake George, and three firefighters, said Felton.
The fire was extinguished and under control in about 4 hours. The forest service spent the next morning at the site mopping up, checking for hot spots and making sure that there was no danger of the fire restarting.
The danger posed by grass fires such as this one cannot be exaggerated. If you smoke, PLEASE dispose of your cigarette butt responsibly, inside your car. As the fire season progresses, the fire danger will also increase. As they say, “The life you save may be your own” or that of a loved one or neighbor.
Note: Writer Flip Boettcher is on the board of directors of the Southern Park County Fire Protection District.