Firefighters mop up the remains of a wildfire Monday afternoon at the base of Sleeping Giant. The blaze, which consumed 40 acres but didn't threaten any structures, started as an agricultural burn Sunday afternoon near Routt County Road 46.

Photo by Scott Franz

Firefighters mop up the remains of a wildfire Monday afternoon at the base of Sleeping Giant. The blaze, which consumed 40 acres but didn't threaten any structures, started as an agricultural burn Sunday afternoon near Routt County Road 46.

Firefighters contain wildfire at base of Sleeping Giant

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— Firefighters on Monday afternoon fully contained a wildfire that started Sunday afternoon at the base of Sleeping Giant mountain west of Steamboat Springs.

Routt County Emergency Management Director Bob Struble said firefighters with Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue, the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management spent several hours Monday near Routt County Road 46 putting out some hot spots around the blaze.

He said firefighters finished extinguishing the fire at about 2 p.m., and he planned to check on it again Tuesday morning.

“We’re not planning to put any more resources on it,” he said.

The fire, which started as an agricultural burn west of Routt County Road 46, got out of control Sunday afternoon when high winds pushed it over the county road and into thick vegetation.

Struble said the fire did not grow Sunday night, when officials estimated it had burned 40 acres.

Karl and Sue Kjolhede, whose home is near the blaze, prepared to evacuate Sunday afternoon as the fire was growing. The fire did not end up threatening any structures.

Struble said recent conditions, including lack of moisture and high winds, make agricultural burns risky.

“It’s still extremely dry, and if people aren’t careful, we could be fighting fire until we have snow on the ground,” he said.

Given the current weather conditions, Struble advised landowners to avoid controlled burns until spring.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com

Comments

Clay Ogden 2 years, 1 month ago

So ... just curious ... who pays for this fire man-made fire to be put out?

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Brian Kotowski 2 years, 1 month ago

I seem to recall that if responsibility for starting it can be reliably assigned, there are criminal penalties that can be imposed, assuming the authors of the controlled burn neglected to observe the applicable rules & regs.

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Scott Wedel 2 years, 1 month ago

It would seem that ag burns have had a real problem this year of getting out of control.

As a matter of principle, I dislike the idea of adding regulations since then everyone that is responsible becomes burdened by the inept.

I do suggest that the local fire depts such make a greater effort to educate on how to properly do an ag burn. With particular attention paid to avoiding conducting burns during afternoon winds.

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