Wildland fire touched off near Wolcott gun range, blaze engulfed 150 acres in a few hours in windy, dry conditions | PostIndependent.com

Wildland fire touched off near Wolcott gun range, blaze engulfed 150 acres in a few hours in windy, dry conditions

Randy Wyrick
Crews from multiple agencies responded to a wildland fire north of Wolcott Saturday afternoon, including tankers and helicopters. The fire started near the shooting range in Wolcott, law enforcement officials said.
Eagle County Sheriff’s Office

WOLCOTT — A wildland fire touched off near an unofficial shooting range grew to more than 150 acres in a couple hours, local officials said.

The Bocco fire, burning three miles north of Wolcott, started at about 10 acres around 4 p.m. Saturday, June 9, but grew as the dry and windy conditions blew it up to more than 150 acres by 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Exactly how the fire started is not yet known, but officials say it started near a gun range north of Wolcott, Jessie Mosher, public information with the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office said.

Multiple agencies and multiple aircraft scrambled to help knock down the fire, which is burning on both Bureau of Land Management and private land.

As a safety measure, Highway 131 headed north out of Wolcott was closed, as were other roads in the area, Mosher said.

Homes in the remote area were evacuated, as was a Sage Outdoor Adventure location and 4-Eagle Ranch.

The Edwards Interfaith Chapel is open for evacuees, and the Eagle County Fair Grounds is available for large animals that need to be evacuated.

Red Flag warning

The National Weather Service has issued a “red flag” fire weather warning for Sunday, June 10. That means it’s a really, really good day to not burn anything. A combination of low humidity, stout winds and warm temperatures mean that any fire that sparks could get out of control quickly.

The most recent warning is one of several one-day warnings issued so far in this dry, warm, windy spring season. Despite those warnings, fire officials in Eagle County have yet to impose fire restrictions. That means campfires are allowed, and agricultural burning permits will be issued — although those permits aren’t valid on red flag days.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

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