Ranch hand helps stop fire | SteamboatToday.com

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Ranch hand helps stop fire

Man's quick actions help prevent situation from escalating

A ranch hand’s quick thinking helped prevent a fire from getting much worse Friday.

At about noon, Jason Burns of Strawberry Farms River Ranches on Routt County Road 44 was tending cattle on a hillside when he noticed smoke coming from a chicken coop on the ranch.

He rode his horse about two miles to the scene and jumped in a bulldozer, pushing the burning structure away from a nearby shed housing flammable liquids and a large, historical barn.

The chicken coop was en—-gulfed in flames by the time Steamboat Springs firefighters arrived.

Firefighter Scott Hetrick said Burns’ efforts helped keep the fire from spreading to the other buildings.

“I just did what I thought needed to be done,” said Burns, whose first concern was the large barn.

Firefighters extinguished the fire within a minute thanks to a relatively new compressed air foam system on the trucks, Hetrick said.

The chicken coop, which contained 50 to 60 chickens, was destroyed in the fire and there was minor damage to the outside of the shed.

There was no damage to the barn.

Ranch owner Doug Matthews suspected a heat lamp fell in the chicken coop and started the fire.

— To reach Tamera Manzanares call 871-4204 or e-mail tmanzanares@steamboatpilot.com