Grassfire threatens homes |

Grassfire threatens homes

Dan Olsen

— Jeff Hergenreter was heading home when he saw the smoke rising from the hills near his house northwest of Craig.

“I was coming home on the county road, and I saw the smoke,” he said.

Hergenreter arrived to find flames crossing the hilltop and moving toward his new home, purchased five months ago.

Craig Fire/Rescue received the call at 4:34 p.m. and three fire trucks responded to the location off Moffat County Road 209.

A column of smoke visible from Highway 40 directed the convoy to a grass fire that was sweeping down a hill toward two homes.

“We had to hit it quick to stop it,” Deputy Fire Chief Bill Johnston said. “The biggest danger was the wind, which was blowing the fire directly to the house.”

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Engine 7 made a run for the flames headed toward the Clayton and Julia Sullivan home, extinguishing the fire yards from the house.

Defending the Hergenreter home was Engine 6, with another engine covering the flank of the operation.

Johnston said firefighters were at the station prepared to respond with a structure firefighting apparatus if necessary.

Johnston said the cause of the fire is being attributed to a man driving a tractor and while cutting hay she truck rock which started the fire.

In addition to the three Craig Fire/Rescue trucks and tanker, one Sheriff’s Office firefighting vehicle responded and a BLM vehicle was on standby during the operation.

The fire was extinguished in about an hour, and burned about 5 acres.