Fulford fire fully contained | VailDaily.com

Fulford fire fully contained

Cliff Thompson

The fire started when a smoldering snag, likely ignited by a lightning strike more than a week ago, was fanned by to life by gusty winds Tuesday.

The fire grew quickly but the response was quick, too. A smokejumping crew and half-dozen slurry bomber runs knocked the fire down, and hand crews from a number of public safety agencies cut a fuel-free line around it. The fire continued to flare up within that perimeter Wednesday, but not beyond. As many 45 people were on the ground fighting the blaze.

The fire burned in a dense stand of spruce, fir and lodgepole pine on the north slope of the mountain with lots of downed timber, making for tough going for fire crews. Evacuation of area residents was discussed, but not implemented.

The key to quickly controlling the fire was the air attack that used slurry bombers diverted from the Coal Seam Fire in Glenwood Springs.

“We had the resources to jump on it. That really helped a whole lot, said Eagle District Ranger Cathy Kahlow of the U.S. Forest Service.

Tinder-dry conditions during the worst drought on record have primed the wildlands for fire.

A holdover lightning strike, probably from the same storm that caused the Porphyry Mountain fire, scorched 40 acres north of Wolcott at Ute Creek on Saturday. Slurry bombers and hand crews were able to bring that fire under control quickly, despite fierce winds driving it along sagebrush and pinon shortly before the Coal Seam Fire burst out of South Canyon and hit Glenwood Springs.

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