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STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, COLORADO-September 29, 2020-Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue (SSFR) was dispatched at 6:15pm to Mile Marker 1 on Routt County Road 44 yesterday, September 28, 2020, for numerous reports of what was described as a small brush fire.
“This had the potential to become a significant incident really quickly,” commented Fire Chief Chuck Cerasoli. “We were fortunately that air resources were in the right place at the right time and the joint attack was able to extinguish the fire before it grew into something major.”
The full on-duty staff consisting of eight personnel responded with a fire engine and two brush trucks. While in route, updates confirmed a large and growing wildland fire just off RCR 44 with one residence threatened. Two command officers responded shortly after the initial group arriving with the command vehicle and water tender.
Two Type-1 helicopters and small single-engine plane, used for air attack coordination with the Middle Fork Fire, happened to be flying overhead of the spreading fire. Incident Commander Captain Travis Wilkinson quickly organized with federal resources to coordinate approximately six water drops from the helicopters that slowed the fire until ground forces could mobilize.
Following the air assault, SSFR initiated a ground attack focusing on containment of active flames and halting the advance of the fire front. Crews then started establishing a perimeter around the fire that entailed setting up a ‘wet line’ and digging up roots and fuels within ten feet of the enclosed perimeter line. Routt County Sherriff’s Office responded setting up road closures and contacting landowners.
With all duty personnel on the wildland fire, a concurrent call was handled by a firefighter, who responded from home, and covered town for approximately four hours.
Later that evening, a fully enclosed containment line was completed nearly five hours after arriving on scene. This morning, SSFR returned to work hot spots and prevent flare ups. The fire remains under investigation and a cause has not been determined at this time.
“Cooler temperatures and frost don’t mean we’re out of the woods,” said Captain Wilkinson. “Conditions remain incredibly dry and will stay that way well into winter and under snow. I can’t express the need for all of us to be careful and avoid potential activities that might start a fire.”
Stage 2 Fire Restrictions are in effect in Routt and Jackson counties, on all the Routt National Forest, and across much of Northwest Colorado.
ContactChuck Cerasoli, Fire Chief, 970.879.7170, or email Travis Wilkinson, Captain, 970.879.7170 or emailMichael Lane, Communications Manager, 970.871.8220 or email