Photo by Bridget Manley
Firefighters battle a blaze Saturday night near Colowyo Coal Co. The fire was reported at about 7:45 p.m. and had scorched an estimated 80 acres by about 8:30 p.m.
Craig Dennis Jones, Craig/Fire Rescue battalion chief, confirmed late Saturday night that a fire burning on land owned by Colowyo Coal Co. had been contained.
No structures were damaged in the fire on Moffat County Road 17, named the Colowyo Fire, although a Colowyo office complex was threatened, he said.
Officials determined a downed power line caused the grass fire, which still is estimated to have burned about 80 acres, Craig/Fire Rescue reported in a news release.
Jones commended Colowyo employees for their efforts to quell the blaze.
They “did a real good job” using motor graders to create a fire line, he said.
“It was a mutual effort on (the part of) several agencies.”
Craig Fire/Rescue sent three apparatuses to the blaze, which was reported at about 7:45 p.m. One engine each from Colowyo and the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office also helped battle the flames that burned on land belonging to the mine.
Preventing a coal fire was one of Craig Fire/Rescue Chief Bill Johnston’s top concerns in the firefighting effort, Jones said.
“When you contain a fire like that, you’ve always got to think about where it’s going to go,” he said.
The Memorial Hospital EMS also came on scene, although no injuries or fatalities were reported, Johnston said.
Sixteen people, not including Colowyo employees, responded the fire, he said.
The weather worked in firefighters’ favor as they doused the flames.
The winds “were terrible when it started, but it died down … thank goodness,” Johnston said.