Carbondale fire highlights dryness | AspenTimes.com

Carbondale fire highlights dryness

John Stroud
Post Independent
Aspen CO Colorado

CARBONDALE – Firefighters acted quickly Thursday afternoon to stop a small brush fire in a ravine near the Crystal River, just west of Carbondale, from getting out of control.

The blaze points out the extreme fire danger that has firefighters and residents on constant alert these days.

The fire started around 1:48 p.m. Thursday and was believed to be the result of a truck colliding with a utility pole and causing a power line to snap.

The downed line released sparks into the dry grass nearby, setting off the fire, according to the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, which responded along with the Carbondale and Rural Fire Protection District.

Details of the accident were not available. The damaged utility pole and lines also caused an area-wide Internet and cable-television outage that lasted into Thursday evening.

County Road 106 between Carbondale town limits and Colorado Rocky Mountain School was closed for about 2 1/2 hours while firefighters worked to keep the fire in check. It reopened around 4:15 p.m.

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The fire was confined to a ravine near the Crystal River, about a half-mile south of CRMS, and was kept to about 1 acre before the flames were put out.

No structures were threatened, and no evacuations were necessary, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Cleanup continued for several hours into the evening as firefighters kept a close eye to make sure the fire didn’t reignite.

A total of 40 personnel responded to the fire. Also on scene were the Basalt and Rural Fire Protection District, Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management and the Carbondale Police Department.

The accident that started the fire also affected some Comcast cable customers from Aspen to Glenwood Springs as well as some in Rifle and Silt, according to Cindy Parsons, Comcast vice president of public relations.

Comcast has an aerial fiber line in that area of Carbondale, Parsons said. The fiber line was beneath the power line and was damaged when struck by the truck, she said.

Some customers were without high-speed Internet, telephone or cable-television service for several hours. Others weren’t affected, Parsons said.

The number of affected customers wasn’t available. Comcast had a crew on standby while the fire was extinguished. The workers eventually were allowed into the area and were splicing the fiber line at 5 p.m. Thursday.

Parsons said much of Comcast’s fiber lines are buried underground, but some are above ground on utility poles. She said she didn’t know how much fiber line is above ground in the Roaring Fork Valley.