‘Tracer rounds’ at shooting range near Basalt ignite wildfire | SteamboatToday.com

‘Tracer rounds’ at shooting range near Basalt ignite wildfire

BASALT — More than 80 firefighters along with two helicopters and a slurry plane are attacking a wildfire that was started Tuesday evening by two people who were firing tracer rounds at a shooting range northwest of Basalt.

The fire quickly spread up Basalt Mountain and forced evacuations of about 80 homes in neighborhoods west of the fire.

“The worry at the moment is the wooden power lines, which if burned will knock out power from Aspen to Basalt and over the hill to Gypsum and Wolcott,” Basalt town manager Ryan Mahoney said.

Basalt Fire Chief Scott Thompson said Wednesday morning that aircrews started attacking the fire at 9 a.m. and will be as aggressive as they can before 11 a.m., when winds and the temperature are forecast to increase.

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The blazed began at about 6 p.m. in the Lake Christine Wildlife Area, and Thompson said he estimates it has burned about 340 acres as of Wednesday morning. It is zero percent contained and all evacuation orders remain in place, officials said.

“There is a wild land crew cutting fire line between the Wilds and gun range in case the winds shift back toward town,” Mahoney said.

Two people were cited for starting the fire at the range, according to Jessie Porter of the Eagle County Sheriff’s Department.


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