Firefighters snuff wildlands fire near Ruedi Reservoir |

Firefighters snuff wildlands fire near Ruedi Reservoir

Staff report
Midvalley resident Jack Rafferty was rowing at Ruedi Reservoir Monday at 9 a.m. when he witnessed a helicopter with federal firefighting crews scoop up six to eight buckets of water to extinguish a wildlands fire near Meredith.
Jack Rafferty/courtesy photo |

A lightning strike ignited a small wildlands fire Sunday on national forest about 1 mile north of Meredith in the Fryingpan Valley, authorities said.

The Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit dropped four members of a helitack crew near the site Monday morning and used a helicopter with a bucket to drop water on the site, according to David Boyd, a spokesman for the fire management unit. It was contained after burning less than an acre of land, he said.

The fire started in aspen trees and understory. The area is thickly wooded and interspersed with lots of homes in the Meredith area.

Basalt Fire Chief Scott Thompson said a storm Sunday afternoon produced numerous lightning strikes in the mountains stretching from Mount Sopris to the Upper Fryingpan Valley. The Meredith fire was reported to the Fire Department at 5:13 p.m. The Fire Department alerted federal firefighters a short time later because the site was inaccessible and on federal land.

Midvalley resident Jack Rafferty was at Ruedi Reservoir rowing Monday morning when the fire management unit’s helicopter dipped its bucket into the reservoir, then flew off to the site. The chopper made between six and eight drops, he said.

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