Burn flares up into brush fire | AspenTimes.com

Burn flares up into brush fire

Tim Mutrie

A controlled burn at the Sewell Ranch south of Carbondale got out of control Wednesday morning, torching about 20 to 25 acres before firefighters from Basalt and Carbondale were able to douse it, according to firefighters.

No people were injured in the brush fire, nor were any structures damaged, according to Rob Goodwin, assistant district chief with the Carbondale and Rural Fire Protection District.

“They were burning ditches and it got out of control on them – the wind kicked up,” said Goodwin. “Most of what it burned was field, and then it started running up into the hillside, but we put it out before it made a big run up the hillside.”

Twenty-two firefighters from Carbondale and Basalt helped extinguish the blaze at the ranch, located off Highway 133 about five miles south of Carbondale.

Goodwin said firefighters were called in at about 11 a.m. yesterday and brought the fire under control in about an hour. Firefighters remained on the scene for a total of three-and-a-half hours, Goodwin said.

Earlier this week, Aspen Fire Marshal Ed Van Walraven said the Aspen Fire Department is considering issuing controlled burn permits only through April, due to the dry conditions this spring. Typically, the Aspen Fire Department issues controlled burn permits through May

“This is the driest March I’ve seen since I’ve been here,” said Goodwin. “But if you have a wet spring, it’s a moot point – you just never know. But if it keeps up like this, and it doesn’t rain and it gets drier and drier, we have the potential for a very bad season,” he said.

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