Crews fully extinguish fast-moving wildfire near area of Native Excavating in Steamboat

Crews with Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue extinguished a blaze that was reported at around 8 p.m. Thursday.
Dylan Anderson

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A wildland fire reported shortly after 8 p.m. Thursday in the area of 13th Street near Captain Jack Drive in Steamboat Springs was fully extinguished about an hour later, according to officials.

“It started creeping kind of towards town and Precision (Repair Service & Sales) and the shops,” said Chuck Cerasoli, Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue chief.

A business with an upstairs residence in the area was initially thought to have been in danger as the fire. Evacuations were not ordered, but pre-alerts were issued through reverse 911 service and subsequently canceled.

“It moved relatively quickly but (Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue) came and were able to get it put out without any damage to the structures,” said Sgt. Shawn Jenkins with the Steamboat Springs Police Department, who assisted at the scene.

Jenkins said the fire started in an open field west of Captain Jack Drive.

“We’re just glad there was no damage to anything other than grass,” he said.

The fire was moving south, coming within about 100 yards of the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps building. No other residences were in danger, Steamboat Fire Rescue officials said.

“Captain Travis Wilkinson was thinking quickly,” Cerasoli said. “As soon as he jumped here, he grabbed a bucket operator … and grabbed him and he was able to get him out and out in front of quite a bit of the fire.”

That helped stop the fire from heading up the nearby hill.

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The fire was flanked along the hillside, according to officials, and it was allowed to burn right up to Captain Jack Drive, which served as the east containment line. Crews dug trench lines along the backside of the fire to the west.

Thirteenth Street was closed at U.S. Highway 40, which has been undergoing construction and experiencing nightly closures.

According to Cerasoli, the fire was started from welding being conducted by a nearby construction crew working to connect gas pipelines. Welding is currently prohibited under the Stage 2 fire restrictions, but Cerasoli said the construction crew had the proper permits to weld at the site despite restrictions.

Steamboat Pilot & Today reporter Dylan Anderson contributed to this report.

To reach Bryce Martin, call 970-871-4206 or email

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