Fire official: Dragging chain likely culprit behind Monday spot fires in Garfield County | PostIndependent.com
YOUR AD HERE »

Fire official: Dragging chain likely culprit behind Monday spot fires in Garfield County

Fire crews respond to a brush fire that broke out on Interstate 70 near the 108MM on Monday Morning near New Castle.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

A vehicle dragging an unsecured metallic item is suspected of causing five spot fires on two major roadways in Garfield County, a local fire chief said Tuesday.

“Our best guess at this point based on some cursory investigation work, (it’s) a dragging chain or a tow strap from a vehicle,” said Glenwood Springs Fire Chief Gary Tillotson.

The Glenwood Springs Fire Department was called around 11:15 a.m. Monday to three areas on Interstate 70 near New Castle where the fires were first reported. Tillotson said most of the fires they suppressed were minor.



Fire crews respond to a brush fire that broke out on Interstate 70 near the 108MM on Monday Morning near New Castle.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

“They were relatively small,” he said. “One of the three that we responded to had pretty much reduced itself to smoldering when we arrived.”

The most significant fire consumed about 1/10th of an acre.



“We really didn’t have any kind of huge flame lengths,” Tillotson said.

Along with Glenwood fire, the Colorado River Fire Rescue and the Colorado Department of Transportation assisted.

Carbondale & Rural Fire District spokesperson Jenny Cutright said their department was also called to two brush fires along Colorado Highway 82 near Red Hill at 10:47 a.m. Monday.

“Someone called in a small brush fire on the side of the road,” she said. “It was very small, fortunately.”

Cutright said it took less than 45 minutes for the department to suppress the fire and clear the area.

With that, Curtight emphasized that motorists need to be careful in securing things like chains or tow straps when traveling.

Fire crews respond to a brush fire that broke out on Interstate 70 near the 108MM on Monday Morning near New Castle.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

“It is still really dry out there even though it is December,” she said. “We still need significant moisture to get beyond the drought we’re in. I’d really encourage people to really be aware.”

The Carbondale Police Department assisted on the call.

rerku@postindependent.com


Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.