YMCA wildfire is contained; firefighters working on hot spots | PostIndependent.com

YMCA wildfire is contained; firefighters working on hot spots

The Associated Press
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GRANBY, Colo. (AP) ” A 50 acre wildfire that forced the evacuation of about 300 campers was fully contained Tuesday as firefighters continued to put out hot spots and cut down burned trees.

Campers and counselors at the YMCA of the Rockies’ Snow Mountain Ranch, about 60 miles northwest of Denver, were evacuated Monday as a precaution but were later allowed back. However, people staying in family reunion lodges on the other side of the 5,100 acre property were still under an evacuation order, Grand County Sheriff Rod Johnson said.

The YMCA said those guests have been relocated to other buildings on the property and activities at the children’s camp have resumed.

Two of those lodges were within the containment lines built around the fire but Johnson said firefighters were able to save them because of the work the YMCA has done to clear away both dead and live trees from the buildings.

The dead trees were hit by pine-bark beetles, which has killed large stands of trees in the area, creating a big fire hazard.

“The real key to that was the stuff they had done to cut back, which allowed us to fight the that fire,” Johnson said.

Because of the enormity of the problem, Johnson said some of the felled, dead trees were left in stacks around the YMCA property but he said it is much easier to fight downed trees than standing, dead ones. Typically, downed pine beetle trees are left on the ground until winter, when they’re then burned.

Residents of 118 homes in a subdivision next to the camp had been put on notice to be ready to leave the area Monday. They were never ordered to leave but some homeowners left anyway, Johnson said.

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