Wildland fire closes Highway 13 north of Craig Sunday | CraigDailyPress.com

Wildland fire closes Highway 13 north of Craig Sunday

Former Mayor Terry Carwile's home was within hundreds of feet of flames

Noelle Leavitt Riley

A wildland fire broke out Sunday afternoon north of Craig, putting former Mayor Terry Carwile's house in the path of destruction.

Fortunately, Carwile and his wife, Kathryn Deitz, called dispatch just in time. Within minutes, Craig Fire/Rescue showed up and quickly began extinguishing the flames around their home, which is located approximately 8 miles north of Craig on Colorado Highway 13.

"My wife and I were watering the horses in the corral here, and I saw smoke start on the horizon, just to the west of the house," he said.

The couple started moving their two horses and a mule across Colo. 13 to a safe spot, then ran back to the house to grab their three cats and two dogs.

The whipping winds made the erratic fire jump from one spot to the next, blowing thick smoke across the highway and forcing law enforcement to close the road. Craig Fire/Rescue drove from one spot to the next to keep structures safe.

"Those guys have done a magnificent job today," Carwile said. "Our county is fortunate to have the first response team that it does."

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The dryness in Moffat County had Carwile and Deitz concerned about fire danger long before Sunday's fire started.

"I don't know what the humidity is, but I bet it's low," Carwile said.

He was correct. According to the National Weather Service, humidity in Craig Sunday was at 14 percent.

For Deitz, the silver lining of Sunday's event was in all the helping hands.

"We don't know any of our neighbors, and they've all come to help. It's been wonderful," she said. The couple has lived in the house for only a few months.

It's not yet known how large the fire grew or when it might be completely contained.

Contact Noelle Leavitt Riley at 970-875-1790 or Contact Noelle Leavitt Riley at 970-875-1790 or nriley@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @noelleleavitt.Contact Noelle Leavitt Riley at 970-875-1790 or nriley@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @noelleleavitt.