Crews knock down wildfire near Wal-Mart in short order |

Crews knock down wildfire near Wal-Mart in short order

Firefighting crews quickly responded and knocked down a wildfire that broke out Saturday afternoon on the hillside above Wal-Mart in south Glenwood Springs, in an area known to have several homeless encampments.

The fire started a little after 1 p.m. and burned about one acre before being brought under control, Glenwood Fire Chief Gary Tillotson said. No one was injured, and no one was at the camp when firefighters arrived and made their way up the hill, he said.

The fire burned mostly trees and a large refuse pile that contained several mini propane canisters, and which could be heard exploding after the fire took off, he said.

The fire was on private property just east of the Wal-Mart store, and just outside city limits, Tillotson said. Backup assistance was called in from Carbondale Fire, Colorado River Fire Rescue, BLM and the U.S. Forest Service. A single-engine tanker plane made one water drop on the fire, he said.

“We’re getting a good handle on it,” Tillotson said at about 3 p.m., as operations were winding down. “I think it’s safe to call it contained,” he said, adding the trash pile will likely be smoldering for a while and will be monitored.

The fire was in an area that’s known to have several homeless encampments. Crews accessed the area from the south parking lot at Wal-Mart, located in the Roaring Fork Marketplace shopping center.


Enforcement of the illegal camps has been a problem, since the area is on private land held by an absentee owner. Wildfire is a constant concern in that location, due to the dry pinyon and juniper brush that runs up the steep hillside into BLM land.


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