Small wildfire outside Steamboat Sunday threatens structures |

Small wildfire outside Steamboat Sunday threatens structures

A Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue engine returns to the Mountain Fire Station in 2013.

— Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue was called to help put out a small wildfire threatening structures on Routt County Road 179 on Sunday.

A homeowner in the 36000 block of the road was burning two dead chickens in a 55-gallon drum to dispose of them in order to avoid attracting coyotes when the fire escaped from the base of the drum and grew out of control.

The fire was burning within feet of a goat enclosure and near a chicken coop.

Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue firefighter and paramedic Dave Hesselton said the homeowner called 911 at 12:51 p.m., and all seven on-duty personnel — with one fire engine, one brush truck and one water tender — initially responded to the call.

When the first unit arrived at the property south of Milner at 1:10 p.m., the homeowner had already put out most of the half-acre fire with buckets of water.

According to the Routt County Assessor’s office, the home at which the fire occurred is owned by Leif and Lucianne Myhre.

Hesselton, who was incident commander for the fire, said that, after assessing the fire, the water tender was sent back into Steamboat while the remaining firefighters worked to finish containing the fire.

“The homeowner had already extinguished the majority of the fire,” Hesselton said.

The fire was out by 1:26 p.m., and firefighters remained on scene for another hour.

Hesselton said that, while the fire danger is typically low this time of year and snow is often already covering the ground, people should still be careful when burning in agricultural areas.

“Keep an eye on the fire, and make sure it doesn’t get away from you,” he said.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow

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