Cause of Red Table Fire cannot be determined
EAGLE ￢ﾀﾔ The cause of the Red Table Fire near Sylvan Lake cannot be definitively determined, according to acting Eagle-Holy Cross District Ranger Aaron Mayville.
The Red Table Fire consumed 26 acres after it was first reported July 13. The blaze was fully contained five days later after response from local, state and national resources.
Mayville said following the blaze, fire investigators examined the scene but could not determine the exact point of origin. He noted the site was obliterated during the aggressive response to the fire, which included aerial assault teams hitting the blaze within a couple of hours of the first sighting.
￢ﾀﾜThere were signs that it did smolder for awhile before it started up July 13,￢ﾀﾝ said Mayville.
As part of their investigation, the Forest Service team examined lightning strike data in the area and found one strike was recorded, one half mile away and 11 days prior to the fire being reported.
￢ﾀﾜIt￢ﾀﾙs on the fringe of it being possible that it was started by that lightning strike,￢ﾀﾝ said Mayville. ￢ﾀﾜThere is also a known dispersed campsite near where it started.￢ﾀﾝ Without concrete evidence of origin, investigators can￢ﾀﾙt state the fire cause. But Mayville did note there is one activity that definitely did not light the fire ￢ﾀﾔ nearby logging operations.
￢ﾀﾜThe point of origin was nowhere near where the logging operations are,￢ﾀﾝ he said.
In the aftermath of the Red Table Fire, the nimble response from firefighting crews was noted by everyone from locals to Forest Service officials.
￢ﾀﾜThe response was excellent and it was very fast,￢ﾀﾝ said Mayville. ￢ﾀﾜIt was a nimble response, that￢ﾀﾙs the reason we were able to contain it to just 26 acres.￢ﾀﾝ
The Red Table Fire could have been a much larger blaze, Mayville said, noting it was sparked in ￢ﾀﾜproblematic￢ﾀﾝ fuel. But because of its proximity to a popular public site ￢ﾀﾔ Sylvan Lake State Park ￢ﾀﾔ and to a major transmission line, people who were responsible for allocating resources to the blaze immediately recognized a need for an aggressive response.
￢ﾀﾜIt also just happed to be a relatively slow fire situation on the Western Slope at the time,￢ﾀﾝ Mayville said.
Mayville again praised the cooperative response to the fire from numerous agencies including the Forest Service, Eagle County, Colorado Parks and Wildlife and Eagle and Gypsum fire districts and the Salvation Army.
￢ﾀﾜThe troops all rallied and helped out. It was a job well done,￢ﾀﾝ said Mayville.
Those units are all deed-restricted, meaning that only people who work an annual average of 30 hours per week can live there. That keeps the apartments out of the short-term rental pool and available to local residents.