Steamboat Springs An escaped campfire is likely the cause of a recent fire in the Browns Park area.
That should remind people recreating and working outdoors that conditions are dry from prolonged drought, despite recent precipitation, fire officials said.
"People are deceived by a little scattered rain," said Dale Skidmore, zone fire management officer for the Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit. "Not all areas are receiving moisture. Drought conditions are still impacting brush and timber."
The 3/4-acre Daisy Fire began Sunday and carried quickly through brush to Ponderosa Pines and piÃ±on and juniper trees on BLM land. The fire is west of Maybell in the Browns Park area on Douglas Boulevard.
Two BLM engines responded immediately to put out the fire and declared the fire controlled at 3 p.m. Tuesday, said Cathy Hutton, dispatch fire center manager for the Craig interagency dispatch center.
Preliminary investigations of the fire suggest that it began after campfire coals that were not extinguished spread to a brushy area, Hutton said.
Although fire restrictions are not in place for Northwest Colorado, people using fires need to make sure their fires are out before leaving fires. To be sure a campfire is out, douse the fire with water, stir it and cover it with dirt, then douse it again, Hutton said.
A good way to tell if a fire is out is to place the back side of your hand an inch above the coals, she said.
Anyone found responsible for starting a wildland fire can be held liable for the suppression costs associated with that fire. Typically, those costs start at $2,000 and increase depending on the size and duration of the incident.