Fire chief: Brush fire at Old Snowmass sends message for care | AspenTimes.com

Fire chief: Brush fire at Old Snowmass sends message for care

A brush fire put people in the midvalley on edge briefly Wednesday since it was coming on the one-year anniversary of the Lake Christine Fire.

Emergency dispatchers paged Roaring Fork Fire Rescue at 2:42 p.m. when a traveler on Highway 82 saw a fire “about the size of a tire.” It was reported in grassland on the north side of Highway 82, downvalley from the Old Snowmass Conoco.

When firefighters arrived minutes later, it had grown to about 15 feet wide and 50 feet long, said Terry Cox, a division chief.

“It was moving slow but it had potential,” Cox said. “The wind was picking up.”

Firefighters responded with a couple of engines and knocked the fire down with no problems. No structures were threatened, Cox said.

The cause was believed to be a spark produced by a vehicle safety chain that was dragging, according to Cox. The chain ran from a vehicle to a boat trailer, authorities said.

Fire Chief Scott Thompson said the incident shows the potential for problems and the need for vigilance to watch any potential source for a fire. There may be a false sense of security with the amount of precipitation this year, but the sun and wind dry out vegetation fast, the firefighters said.

“It may look green but we’ve hit that critical place where we’re hitting high fire danger,” Thompson said.

Basalt has an ordinance in place that makes it illegal to sell, possess or use any fireworks within the town limits from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Thompson urged valley residents, regardless of where they reside, to not shoot off fireworks for Fourth of July.

“Save them for New Year’s,” he said.

scondon@aspentimes.com


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