Wildfire breaks out at ACES

Janet Urquhart
Aspen, CO Colorado
Jordan Curet/The Aspen Times
ALL | The Aspen Times

ASPEN ” Interns at the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies and Aspen firefighters jumped quickly on a wildfire on the center grounds Monday afternoon.

Aspen Fire Chief Darryl Grob termed the blaze suspicious, given the various ignition points in the dense undergrowth. “It would be reminiscent of a firework,” he said.

The fire crept through the voluminous cotton that has fallen from cottonwood trees and is choking the long grass and brush at ACES.

ACES interns formed a bucket brigade and began fighting the fire even before firefighters arrived. Patches of burning cotton were spread from the ACES driveway, behind the Aspen post office, almost to the Roaring Fork River. They were quickly doused.

The blaze began on the heels of a small fire across town, near the No Problem Bridge, which was quickly extinguished. Both fires are under investigation.

Open flames and fireworks are currently banned in Pitkin County, as well as in the White River National Forest, and Grob stressed the high fire danger that currently exists. The last rain fell more than two weeks ago.

The city’s July 4 fireworks, however, are scheduled to proceed at the city golf course instead of on Aspen Mountain.

“The advantage of the golf course is it’s so heavily irrigated, the drop zone is very stable,” he said.

Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is