Duck Pond Fire still under investigation
Fire was human-caused, but that’s all officials know
The Duck Pond Fire last month just west of Gypsum was human-caused, but remains under investigation.
Eric Coulter, a public affairs officer for the Bureau of Land Management, wrote in an email Friday that the federal agency is leading the investigation into the roughly 100-acre fire, in coordination with Eagle County officials.
“Since it is an ongoing investigation, details will not be available until the investigation is complete,” Coulter wrote.
The fire sparked about 3 p.m. on April 16 about a mile west of Gypsum. The fire started on the south side of the Eagle River, which forced a Gypsum Fire Protection District crew to hike into the site. High winds, which kept air crews grounded, spread quickly. The fire consumed a number of large cottonwood trees, and burned much of the Bureau of Land Management campground just west of the neighborhood on York View Drive.
The fire by about 4:40 p.m. caused officials to issue evacuation orders for neighborhoods on the west end of town and along the river. The last of those orders were rescinded at about 6 p.m. April 17.
Residents and pets were evacuated to the Eagle River Center at the Eagle County Fairgrounds.
After the fire, the Bureau of Land Management on April 29 closed the entire burn area although the recreation path adjacent to U.S. Highway 6 remains open. The closure was issued due to the danger of burned trees falling without warning. Federal land managers are mitigating hazard trees and monitoring conditions in the area.
The fire “went the way nobody expected it to,” Eagle County Sheriff James van Beek said. Sheriffs are county fire wardens throughout the state.
“Nobody did anything wrong … but it’s a good thing we train for the worst,” van Beek said.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Andrew Huntsman and Ralph Smalley were chosen by the seniors to give the class address during Basalt High School’s graduation ceremony on Saturday. This had the two BHS teachers questioning the legitimacy of those diplomas they were about to hand out.