Chief: Billowing smoke was from planned fire |

Chief: Billowing smoke was from planned fire

— A hay fire south of Steamboat Springs on Thursday that sent white smoke billowing high into the air was a controlled agricultural burn.

Steamboat Springs Fire Chief Bob Struble said a rancher on County Road 22 was burning old hay bales safely and legally. “Because of his agricultural operation, he’s allowed to burn fields or ditches, or whatever he needs to do,” Struble said.

The rancher had called his neighbors, but did not notify the sheriff’s office about the burn, so the fire department was paged about 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

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