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Fire Suppression

Posted on: August 4, 2017

32650 Highway 131 Structure Fire/Wildland Fire - August 2, 2017

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32650 Highway 131 Structure Fire/Wildland Fire - August 2, 2017

Alarm Type: Structure Fire/Wildland Fire
Alarm Time: 1519
Units Arrival Time: 1531
Fire Out: 1644 (mop up start)
In Service: 2333

Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue was dispatched to 32650 Highway 131 for the report of a structure fire. Both Ambulances and the on-duty fire engine were at Yampa Valley Medical Center dropping off patients when the initial call for service came out. Engine 6-1 and Ambulance 6-4 left the hospital en-route directly to the scene while Ambulance 6-2 diverted to the central station to staff a Water Tender. The location of the fire was out of town and no water hydrants are in the area.

While en-route to the structure fire at 32650 Highway 131 Captain Wilkinson, officer of Engine 6-1, received updates from Routt County Communications Center (RCCC) that they were receiving multiple 911 calls about the fire. Additional resources were requested from West Routt Fire Protection District (WRFPD) for an additional Fire Engine and Oak Creek Fire Protection District (OCFPD) for a Water Tender. WRFPD responded with 1 engine (staffed by 4 personnel) and OCFPD was able to bring a 1000 gallon wildland engine as a water source with 2 personnel.

While SSFR was still en-route to 32650 Hwy 131 an additional call was received for a the possible fire at the Pilot building in Curve Plaza as well as a third call for service at the Routt County Justice Center for a fire alarm. The initial reports indicated a smell of smoke in the business and the building was being evacuated. To provide staffing for two simultaneous fire calls, the crew responding to staff the Tender were switched to Engine 6-2 and with the addition of one off-duty firefighter, responded to Curve Plaza. After a full investigation of the building Firefighter/Paramedic Oakland was able to determine that the cause of the smoke was due to an electrical short in the building and no fire was present. The crew then returned to the Central Fire Station switching apparatus once again to staff water tenders and wildland apparatus. Steamboat Fire Rescue was unable to provide response to the Justice Center and Sheriff Deputies were tasked with the responsibility of finding the cause for the fire alarm.

Upon arrival of Engine 6-1 to the scene of the Hwy 131 fire Captain Wilkinson reported that grass and heavy brush in the area were on fire with fire impingement and exposure of the main residence and numerous outbuildings. After an initial size up of the scene Captain Wilkinson determined that in addition to the wildland fire, the bunkhouse had smoke coming from the eves and the top of the building. The six on-scene personnel deployed wildland hose to attack the brush and trees on fire, as well as one 1 ¾ inch hose line to protect the main residence and second 1 ¾ inch hose line to attack the fire in the bunkhouse. Due to limited water supply, efforts were focused on protection of the main residence and preventing a spread of the wildland fire while crews awaited additional water resources to arrive on-scene. The bunkhouse became fully involved in fire and crews used their limited water to keep the fire from spreading to the main residence and the surrounding vegetation, where it had the possibility to spread to additional structures in the area.

With the arrival of water supply from Steamboat’s water tender, OCFPD and the engine from WRFPD, the fire was knocked down in a little over an hour after arrival of the first fire engine. Mop up of areas where the fire was still smoldering took several hours. During this 8 hour time period Chief Mel Stewart and 7 off duty personnel covered staffing for all other calls in the City and District.

The bunk house building is considered a complete loss. The exterior of the main residence received only minor damage and the wildland fire was controlled after burning some of the cottonwoods near the residence and grass in the surrounding fields. The Fire Marshall and Routt County Sheriff office are working on determining the cause and estimating the value of damage.

For further questions please contact Deputy Chief Chuck Cerasoli at 970-846-5974. Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue would like to thank Oak Creek Fire Protection District, West Routt Fire Protection District, RCCC, RCSO and all the off-duty personnel who helped out during this time to manage multiple responses.

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