Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue firefighter Matt Mathisen douses hot spots Friday at a wildfire that burned about one acre of grass and threatened a home and barn in the 28000 block of Routt County Road 41A on Friday afternoon.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue firefighter Matt Mathisen douses hot spots Friday at a wildfire that burned about one acre of grass and threatened a home and barn in the 28000 block of Routt County Road 41A on Friday afternoon.

Accidental brushfire contained

Winds fuel blaze on C.R. 41A in Hilton Gulch area

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— Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue contained a small wildland fire Friday afternoon in the Hilton Gulch area, southwest of Steamboat Springs.

The fire broke out at about 12:30 p.m. in the 28100 block of Routt County Road 41A. The property owner, carrying out renovations in anticipation of renting the property out, was trying to burn construction materials on an old burn pile, according to Routt County Sheriff's Office Deputy Ryan Adrian.

"The wind kicked up, and it got out of control," Adrian said.

Luckily, the winds blew the fire back onto itself shortly after fire crews arrived on scene, allowing them to contain the blaze quickly, Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue Assistant Chief Bob Struble said.

The wildfire scorched about half an acre of grass and scrub brush along C.R. 41A, and burned within feet of outbuildings on the property. Adrian said the owner will likely be cited.

On Aug. 14, the "41" fire burned two acres of thick oak brush on the hillside directly across C.R. 41A from Friday's fire. Believed to be ignited by a lightning strike, the August blaze was the largest in Routt County during fire season.

"It would've been all kinds of trouble if (Friday's) fire crossed the road," Struble said.

Afternoon winds from a storm system rolling into the Yampa Valley fanned the flames out of control Friday. This weekend's storm will be the coldest so far this fall, and may bring snowfall to Steamboat Springs tonight, according to the National Weather Service.

Scattered rain and snow showers are expected today, with snow above 9,000 feet, said meteorologist Troy Lindquist. Overnight lows below freezing, however, will push the snow level down into the valley, probably bringing snowfall into Steamboat Springs.

"We'd expect an accumulation of one to three inches in town," Lindquist said.

Though the skies are expected to be clear, Monday is due to remain chilly with a high of 46 degrees.

- To reach Melinda Dudley, call 871-4203 or e-mail mdudley@steamboatpilot.com

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