Small wildfire flares on hillside above Basalt |

Small wildfire flares on hillside above Basalt

Basalt firefighters attend to a wildfire on a hillside north of Highway 82 between downtown Basalt and Willits on Tuesday. The fire was human caused, according to fire chief Scott Thompson.
Basalt Fire Department/courtesy photo |

Wildfire season is officially underway in the midvalley.

Basalt firefighters were working to snuff out a small wildfire on a steep hillside between Basalt and Willits on Tuesday afternoon and into the evening. The fire was contained to about one-half acre on the north side of Highway 82, behind Christ Community Church.

Although the fire didn’t threaten structures and was deemed “slow moving,” officials wanted to make sure it was completely out before nightfall so firefighters could be pulled out of the terrain. Basalt Fire Chief Scott Thompson called for additional firefighters at 5:30 p.m. “so we can button it up before dark.”

The fire was in terrain that couldn’t be reached by regular fire trucks, so the department was using specialty vehicles to shuttle equipment and personnel to the site.

White smoke billowed up from the hillside and the “campfire” smell filled the air in the midvalley.

The fire was human caused, according to Thompson. No other details were available. The fire coincided with a brief, gusty storm rolling through the midvalley in midafternoon.

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