Wild fire erupts near Basalt
BASALT ” A wild fire erupted on the outskirts of Basalt Friday when an axle on a camper trailer broke causing the frame to hit the pavement and kick up sparks that ignited dry grass, authorities said last night.
Firefighters scrambled to prevent the fire from jumping a dirt road and burning into the thick brush of lower Basalt Mountain. No structures burned and no one was injured.
“If it would have jumped Cedar Drive we would have had big problems,” said Basalt Deputy Fire Chief Jerry Peetz.
The fire only burned about 3 acres but it was in extremely steep terrain so it was difficult to battle, Basalt Fire Chief Scott Thompson said. The fire wasn’t fully contained as of 6 p.m. because a fire line hadn’t been established around the entire perimeter, he said. However, the fire didn’t pose a threat to homes or other structures, according to Thompson.
The fire was 1 mile up Fryingpan Road on the north side of the valley. The camper trailer was traveling down the valley, toward Basalt when its axle snapped.
The fire broke out at about 2:20 p.m.. and was fanned by winds reported by the National Weather Service as 23 mph and gusting to 29 mph. “It was running up the hill pretty fast,” said Peetz, who was first on the scene. Flames jumped 40 feet in the air as pinon and juniper trees were torched, he said.
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