Missouri Heights log cabin destroyed by ﬁre
June 7, 2012
CARBONDALE – A fire engulfed and destroyed a log cabin in Missouri Heights on Wednesday afternoon.
Firefighters from Carbondale and Basalt rushed to the scene when paged at 1:40 p.m. out of concern that embers would start a wildfire in the surrounding countryside. The fire danger throughout the Roaring Fork Valley is very high because of the drought conditions.
The fire was just off Garfield County Road 102 near the King’s Row subdivision, roughly 3.5 miles from Catherine Store. It was in the Carbondale fire district, but the Basalt Fire Department responded through a mutual aid agreement because of the potential risk of the fire spreading.
Basalt Fire Chief Scott Thompson said the log cabin was roughly 20 by 30 feet with a metal frame. It was a single story with a metal roof. It was fully engulfed when the first firefighters arrived on the scene, with flames shooting out of all windows and doors. The renter of the property was not home at the time, but he “lost everything,” Thompson said. “It sounds like there was a dog in it.”
By the time the call came in and the fire had spread, firefighters were unable to enter the structure, Thompson said. They surrounded the property and drowned the fire. Crews also patrolled the perimeter to make sure no embers caught vegetation on fire. The structure was surrounded by green vegetation that was pretty lush and not susceptible to fire, Thompson said. Firefighters also had the advantage of low winds at the time of the fire.
In other fire news, Eagle County announced that it is reinstituting fire restrictions. No open fires are allowed except campfires at developed campgrounds or recreation areas where fire grates are present.
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The White River National Forest supervisor’s office also is planning when to institute a fire ban in the sprawling forest outside developed campgrounds. The agency rarely takes such a drastic step, but conditions are exceptionally dry, even in the high country.
“It’s imminent,” Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams said of the fire ban. The agency is contemplating whether it can effectively get the ban in place before this weekend or if it must shoot for next week.