Peak 2 fire outside Breckenridge 25 percent contained, official says
Continuing a recent string of good news, Dave Schmitt of the Rocky Mountain Incident Response Team reported gains in containing the Peak 2 fire burning roughly 85 acres between Breckenridge and Frisco, saying that containment rose overnight Friday from about 7 percent to 25 percent Saturday morning.
All evacuations were lifted Friday night, and the Peak 7 neighborhood was reopened to the public today. However, the Peak 7 neighborhood will remain on pre-evacuation status until further notice because there is still a risk. Additionally, the area from Highway 9 to Cucumber Gulch and Valley Brook Road to the south to the Iron Springs Construction Site to the north remains on pre-evacuation notice.
Peaks Trail, Gold Hill, Wheeler and Miners Creek trails remain closed. Parts of the Colorado Trail are closed where overlap occurs with trail closures in the area.
The fire hasn’t grown much since Wednesday, as crews have had favorable weather since then, but the biggest problems remain rugged terrain making access difficult for crews and a large number of dead trees fueling the blaze.
“We’re pretty much where we were yesterday with the containment going up to 25 percent,” Schmitt said.
According to Schmitt, crews worked through the night to strengthen fire suppression lines to try to prevent the blaze from spreading. They were aided by Saturday’s overcast skies and the occasional light rain.
So far, Schmitt said, they have cut lines around 70 percent of the blaze, and they’re hoping those lines will hold.
The biggest concern right now, Schmitt continued, is that weekend thunderstorms could bring high winds that whip up the flames again. If those winds are strong enough, he said, the fire could jump the containment lines, and they’re hoping that doesn’t happen.
As a precaution, crews scouted out contingency lines to the north and south of the fire, and incident managers were said to be coordinating with local agencies Saturday on possible construction of those lines, which could offer an additional level of protection if the fire were to move south toward Breckenridge and the Peak 7 neighborhood.
Additionally, because of dry conditions and a high fire risk, burn bans remain in place across Summit County. Also, because crews are battling the flames from the air, there is a temporary restriction on flying drones over the fire. Motorists stopping along Colorado 9 were also reportedly creating problems, as congestion on the highway posed another hazard, for both travelers and fire crews, according to a morning update.
Another fire to the southeast of Breckenridge, named the Baldy Fire, was contained late Friday afternoon, and a pre-evacuation notice issued to residents in Baldy Mountain neighborhoods on Friday was rescinded within two hours.
Anyone with specific questions about fire evacuations should call the public information line at 970-668-9730.
Snow usually comes and goes in this part of the state. A forecasted storm is expected to stick around for a while. Forecasters are calling for snow to persist throughout the weekend in the high country, with a prospect of a couple of feet of powder by the time the storm starts to diminish on Monday.