Grass fire wipes out trees


About 100 trees burned along Moffat County Road 22 on Thursday afternoon when a fire burned about 15 acres owned by Aleka Butler.

Deputy Fire Chief Bill Johnston said the cause of the fire is undetermined.

Moffat County employees who were working in the area helped stave off much of the blaze by dousing the flames with water from the county's tanker truck, Johnston said.

"That's the real story," he said.

One house was a half-mile south of the blaze and another house was a mile to the east of the blaze.

Butler said she thinks a stray cigarette dropped from a vehicle started the fire, which ignited near the road. Butler said she has planted as many as 7,000 trees on her land near the burned area near Moffat County Road 3.

"Thank God I didn't have somebody in here weeding like I did a few days ago," she said.

"Horrible," Butler added, scanning the charred baby trees.

Butler called in the fire to the authorities when she saw smoke while driving and thought her nearby son's house might be in danger.

Firefighters from Craig Fire/Rescue worked to extinguish the blaze and concentrated on burning fence posts.

An ambulance from The Memorial Hospital also responded to the scene.

Butler said she cared more about the loss of her trees than the damaged fence that was constructed to keep elk out.

"That's what burns me," she said. "Those trees are the love of my life."

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