Brush fire quickly contained Tuesday |

Brush fire quickly contained Tuesday

John Gardner
Post Independent Staff

NEW CASTLE – Wind caused a controlled burn near New Castle to get quickly out of control Tuesday afternoon.

According to Burning Mountains Fire Protection District’s Fire Chief Brit McLin a land owner was performing a controlled burn of an irrigation ditch, about one mile west of New Castle, along highway 6 when the fire grew out of control. Fire crews were able to get the blaze under control in less than two hours.

The fire grew out of control at approximately 3 p.m. Tuesday. Firefighters had the blaze under control by about 4:30 and continued with mop-up into the evening.

“We certainly had it under control last night,” McLin said. “There were a couple of smoke spots this morning, and the land owner is suppressing those last few.”

Burning Mountains Fire Protection District firefighters and Garfield County Sheriff’s deputies were first to respond to the fire and called in the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit, based in Grand Junction, due to the nature of the terrain and the swift moving fire.

“The prompt decision making of the experienced responders was a major factor in the quick containment of a fire,” Garfield County Sheriff’s Office Spokeswoman Tanny McGinnis stated in a press release early Wednesday morning.

Fire officials determined the fire burned 1.5 acres, according to McLin. The fire moved along a 40 percent slope and had estimated flame heights of 30 to 40 feet at times. There were no injuries and no structures were threatened.

Highway 6 was closed for about two hours while crews battled the blaze. Colorado State Patrol and Colorado Department of Transportation personnel provided traffic support during the closure, and was able to reopen the highway to traffic shortly after 5 p.m.

The Garfield County Emergency Communications Authority used the Everbridge notification system to inform citizens of the road closure.

Multi-agency support included: 16 firefighters, two tenders from Burning Mountains Fire Protection District, one tender from Rifle Fire Protection District, three trucks from Interagency Fire, one West Care ambulance, Colorado Department of Transportation, Colorado State Patrol, and four employees of the landowner assisted.

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