Grass fire threatens homes east of Craig | CraigDailyPress.com

Grass fire threatens homes east of Craig

Blaine Tucker flies his Thrush airplane over a fire near Craig on Tuesday afternoon.

— A grass fire ignited northeast of U.S. Highway 40 and old East Victory Way in Craig late Tuesday morning, directly across the highway from the Wyman Living History Museum.

According to Moffat County Sheriff KC Hume, who is also acting fire chief, the fire burned approximately 90 acres and put three homes in imminent danger before being contained.

"Through a coordinated effort by all of the responding entities… we were able to suppress and extinguish the fire while, in essence, saving three residences from fire damage or destruction," he said.

No one was injured in the fire and residents were evacuated from the area. The flames were contained by late afternoon, but the mopping up phase was still underway late Tuesday afternoon. Hume said there is a pile of tires in the middle of the burn area that is continuing to smolder and produce smoke visible from the highway.

Craig/Fire Rescue, Bureau of Land Management and Moffat County Sheriff's Office sent 25 firefighters to fight blaze, said Hume. They also had help from a fixed-wing plane dropping water.

Luke Tucker, co-owner of Mountain Air Spray, Craig-Moffat Airport's fixed base operator, said whenever Craig/Fire Rescue needs aerial assistance with a fire a Tucker is always ready to volunteer.

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Tuesday morning, Blaine Tucker, Luke's father, dropped 2,400 gallons of water across the fire from a single-prop Thrush airplane. The aircraft has a 400-gallon tank and allows the pilot to make multiple passes over the fire before needing to refill.

Tucker said his father has been flying over fires for 30 years.

As the firefighters worked to contain the fire, some passersby stopped on the shoulder of U.S. Highway 40 or pulled in to the Wyman museum to watch.

Alman Nicodemus, a Craig resident, was watching the fire while his daughter responded to it as an Emergency Medical Technician for The Memorial Hospital Emergency Medical Services.

Nicodemus said it is interesting to watch the firefighters work as long as no one is hurt or has their property damaged.

"I'm glad that I get to watch instead of being one of those firefighters." He said, noting the importance of the service they provide. "They're dressed up in those heavy uniforms, they're roasting their butts off and then they're up against a fire."

Contact Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or pkelly@CraigDailyPress.com.

Contact Lauren Blair at 970-875-1794 or lblair@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @LaurenBNews.

Noelle Leavitt Riley is the editor of the Craig Daily Press and the Saturday Morning Press. Reach her at 970-875-1790 or nriley@craigdailypress.com.

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