Wildland fire touched off near Wolcott gun range, blaze engulfed 150 acres in a few hours
WOLCOTT — A wildland fire that touched off near an unofficial shooting range grew to more than 150 acres in a couple hours, local officials said.
The Bocco Fire, burning three miles north of Wolcott, started about 4 p.m. Saturday, June 9, but grew as the dry, windy conditions blew it up to more than 80 acres by 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
The cause of the fire is not yet known, but it apparently started near a gun range north of Wolcott, according to Jessie Mosher, public information officer with the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office.
Multiple agencies and multiple aircraft scrambled to help knock down the fire, which is burning on both Bureau of Land Management and private land.
The Edwards Interfaith Chapel is open for evacuees, and the Eagle County Fair Grounds is available for large animals that need to be evacuated.
Red flag warning
The National Weather Service issued a “red flag” fire weather warning for Sunday, June 10, meaning a combination of low humidity, strong winds and warm temperatures could cause any fire that sparks to grow rapidly out of control.
The most recent warning is one of several one-day warnings issued so far this year. Despite those warnings, fire officials in Eagle County have yet to impose fire restrictions. Campfires are still allowed, and agricultural burning permits will be issued, though such permits aren’t valid on red flag days.
As a safety measure, Colorado Highway 131 north out of Wolcott was closed, as were other roads in the area, Mosher said.
Homes in the remote area were evacuated, as was a Sage Outdoor Adventure location and 4-Eagle Ranch.
Moffat County is officially a player in a major natural gas export plan spanning several western states all the way to the Pacific Ocean.