Small Flat Tops fire ‘skunking’ along
Firefighters are letting a tiny fire burn just outside the Flat Tops Wilderness near the northwest corner of Eagle County.The lightning-sparked fire was reported Saturday southeast of Dome Peak. It is unlikely to spread far because it’s in a small island of trees surrounded by meadows of largely unburnable green grass at 10,000 feet where the spring, not summer, is full on.The fire has consumed just one-tenth of an acre and is burning in a small stand of spruce and fire surrounded by a 100-yard-wide meadow. It is being monitored by firefighters who specialize in monitoring fires.”It’s real small right now,” said Eric Rebitzke of the Interagency Fire Office. “It will probably have a hard time sneaking across the meadow unless it really dries out.”It’s in an area that naturally ignited fires are allowed to burn to help bring fire into the fire-dependent ecosystems where a century of man’s fire suppression has allowed the forests to get out of balance.A release from the U.S Forest Service indicated the fire will likely consume the small stand of trees but it is not likely to spread across the meadow.Cliff Thompson can be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 949-0555, ext. 450.
Wolves were a problem for ranchers when Kip Gates’ great-great-grandfather homesteaded in the area. He doesn’t want the problem to return.