Press release: Lake Dillon Fire leads attack on erratic wildfire near Heeney

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Contact: Steve Lipsher, Public Information Officer

Office: (970) 262-5209

 

2 October 2015

 

Lake Dillon Fire leads attack on erratic wildfire near Heeney

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Lake Dillon firefighters led the charge into the evening on Friday in battling a rapidly changing, active wildfire just south of the community of Heeney.

 

Soon after sizing up the erratic Cemetery Ridge Fire burning in thick, beetle-killed timber, the Lake Dillon contingent was joined by firefighters from the U.S. Forest Service, Copper Mountain Fire, Breckenridge-based Red, White & Blue Fire and shortly later with crews from Kremmling Fire, Vail Fire and Northwest Fire based in Park County.

 

A total of about 50 firefighters were on the ground Friday afternoon, but the blaze, driven by wind from a series of squalls, made a series of very fast runs through lodgepole pine and aspen and hillsides of grass and sage.

 

Ultimately it grew to an estimated 70 acres, even showing signs of active fire behavior — torching and running — well after dark, when fires typically “lay down.”

 

At one point, the residents at the Brush Creek Ranch voluntarily evacuated, and a crew was assigned to protect the buildings there. No other structures were threatened.

 

By evening, a 10-person Juniper Valley crew had arrived in anticipation of joining the fray on Saturday. Additionally, a 20-person hotshot crew traveling from Wyoming and a second Type 2 Initial Attack crew was en route to the fire, burning about 12 miles north of Silverthorne.

 

Two LDFR crews were assigned to monitor the fire overnight.

 

Because of the immense amount of downfall and standing-dead timber, the remote, rugged terrain and the capricious nature of the fire, incident commanders are anticipating putting as many as 200 firefighters on the fire lines on Saturday.

 

The initial command of the fire is being handled jointly by Lake Dillon Fire, the U.S. Forest Service and the Summit County Sheriff’s Office.

 

This information will be updated on Saturday.

 

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