BLM, Eagle sheriff seek Cottonwood Pass fire info
The area Bureau of Land Management and the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office are seeking information about the cause of a fire Sunday near Cottonwood Pass in western Eagle County.
Investigators believe the fire was ignited early Sunday afternoon by people shooting exploding targets in dry grass near Spring Gulch off the Cottonwood Pass Road.
Several people were observed recreating in the area at the time and may have information useful to investigators.
Anyone who has information that would be useful to investigators is asked to call the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office at (970) 328-8500 or Eagle County Crime Stoppers at (970) 328-7007, or 1-800-972-TIPS. Tips can also be submitted online at http://www.tipsubmit.com, or text a tip from your cell phone by texting STOPCRIME plus your message to CRIMES (274637).
Any tip leading to the arrest and indictment of any suspect involved could earn up to a $1,000 reward from Crime Stoppers.
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“People whose actions result in wildfires can be held liable for the cost of suppressing the fire, regardless of whether the fire was intentional,” according to a joint press release from the BLM and Eagle County Sheriff.
A quick response from more than 40 local and federal firefighters on Sunday, along with assistance from a single engine air tanker, kept the fire to about 5 acres of BLM land.
“We’re at the point of the season where most grasses have dried and will carry fire, even with the wet summer we’ve had,” acting BLM Colorado River Valley Field Manager Karl Mendonca said in the release.
“We are seeing an increase in fire danger and are reminding the public to use caution when recreating or working outside,” he said.
Precautions include making sure campfires are dead out before leaving camp, ensuring chainsaws and other equipment retain their spark arresters, and avoiding parking or shooting in dry grass.
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Ivan Jackson joined LIFT-UP as its new executive director in August.