A Craig Fire/Rescue firefighter douses a burning outbuilding Tuesday on resident Mitch Shepherd's property near mile marker 98 on Colorado Highway 13 north of Craig. A fire department official said the fire began after Shepherd started burning trash on his property and lost control when winds picked up.

Photo by Hans Hallgren

A Craig Fire/Rescue firefighter douses a burning outbuilding Tuesday on resident Mitch Shepherd's property near mile marker 98 on Colorado Highway 13 north of Craig. A fire department official said the fire began after Shepherd started burning trash on his property and lost control when winds picked up.

Agencies extinguish grass fire, car fire along Colorado Highway 13

photo

Mitch Shepherd looks at the damage to his property Tuesday. He lost a fence, a vehicle and part of an outbuilding. A second vehicle and a shed also were damaged.

— Tuesday might be just the beginning, said Dennis Jones, battalion chief for Craig Fire/Rescue.

Jones said he was en route to a reported car fire at about 1 p.m. Tuesday on Colorado Highway 13 north of Craig, when he spotted a second fire off Colo. 13 on another resident's property.

It's that time of year, he said.

"It's fixing to get busy," Jones said, "unless we get some moisture."

The first incident, at mile marker 113 on the Peroulis family ranch, turned out to be a truck that caught fire while its owners tried to jump-start the engine. Jones said the vehicle was destroyed, but no one was injured.

The second fire, at mile marker 98 on Moffat County resident Mitch Shepherd's property, was the larger of the two.

Jones said the fire started when afternoon winds spread what was supposed to be a controlled burn of some garbage to a nearby fence and, ultimately, to two parked vehicles and two outbuildings.

Shepherd lost his fence, one of the vehicles and part of an outbuilding before firefighters put out the blaze. The second vehicle and a shed also were damaged.

Jones said there's a lesson in Shepherd's loss - that conditions around Craig are too dry for anyone to attempt controlled burns.

Brush fire contained

Several local and regional firefighting crews succeeded Tuesday in containing a brush fire about 25 miles north of Craig.

Officials suspect the blaze, called the Spring Fire, began at 4:30 p.m. Sunday when lightning struck the ground. High winds and dry conditions caused the fire to spread rapidly.

The fire has consumed about 1,282 acres off Moffat County Road 3 but has not damaged any structures, according to a Bureau of Land Management news release.

The incident led to crews briefly closing Colo. 13 on Monday evening so they could burn the roadside grasses to form a barrier the fire couldn't cross.

The BLM, Moffat County Sheriff's Office, Craig Fire/Rescue, county road and bridge and various aircrews responded to the fire.

Although the fire is considered contained, BLM officials said there are still unburned patches of grasses and brush within the area that will continue to burn throughout the next few days.

Motorists likely will be able to see smoke from Colo. 13, officials added, but there shouldn't be cause for concern.

Fire engines will continue to patrol the area until the fire is completely out, the BLM reported.

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.