Lightning causes Eagle-area wildfire

Lauren Glendenning
Vail correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

EAGLE, Colo. – WIldland fire crews responded to a wildfire northwest of Eagle, near Cottonwood Creek, on Bureau of Land Management public lands after smoke was reported at 1:34 p.m. Wednesday.

Crews estimated the fire to be about 2 1/2 acres as of Wednesday evening, said Kimberly Miller, spokeswoman for the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit. The fire was burning about 2.5 miles north of Eby Creek Mesa.

A single-engine air tanker dropped a fire retardant on the fire sometime between 3:15 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., which caused the fire to “lay down,” Miller said. The retardant helped control the smoke that had been rising into the air earlier Wednesday afternoon, she said.

Five fire engines were on scene, as well as a 200-gallon tank water truck from the Gypsum Fire Protection District. Three of the engines on scene, as well as another water truck, were from the Greater Eagle Fire Protection District. The Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit provided two engines, a single-engine air tanker and the air attack.

Ten wildland firefighters from both the Vail Fire Department and the Eagle River Fire Protection District were also on scene as of Wednesday evening around 6 p.m.

The fire was not threatening any structures and was upwind of the Eby Creek subdivision and Eby Ranch as of Wednesday evening, Miller said.

The fire is being called the Nielson Gulch Fire. Miller said crews believe lightning caused the fire, which was burning in pinon pine and juniper vegetation.

Crews expected to have the fire contained by Wednesday at 10 p.m., and completely controlled by Thursday morning.

“We have all of our resources there, doing as much as we possibly can to make sure everything is under control,” Miller said.


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