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First fire of 2018 burns near Cuchara

Fire departments battle wildfire near Cuchara

by Eric Mullens

LA VETA / CUCHARA — Although there is not an official fire ban in effect in Huerfano County, it is apparent the fire danger remains high with the region recording record high temperature and very low humidity.

At approximately 2:30 pm Tuesday, January 9 the first report of smoke seen in the area of Spoon Ranch, located off of Hwy 12, was being called in to the Huerfano County Emergency Dispatch Center.

La Veta FPD Chief Dave DeTray said the approximate 10-acre fire had a one mile circumference and was triangular in shape. Other officials have estimated the fire size as between 10 and 30 acres. The cause of the fire on Spoon Ranch property is unknown, but DeTray said it may have been a human-caused, unintentional accident.

Fire units from La Veta Fire Protection District, Huerfano County Fire Protection District, and Upper Huerfano Fire Protection District were augmented by personnel from Huerfano County Road & Bridge, CDOT and the Huerfano Emergency Manager’s Office. Huerfano Sheriff’s deputies manned the entry points to the ranch used by fire personnel and performed traffic control on the two-lane Highway of Legends near the scene. The fire was located about 12½ miles from La Veta and about one mile into the ranch property.

No injuries were reported, and no structures were reported to have been damaged.

LVFPD kept a brush truck and two firefighters on scene overnight to battle any wind-driven flare-ups that may have occurred.

DeTray said special thanks go out to the Dog Bar in Cuchara for providing pizzas to fire crews Tuesday eventing and Charlie’s Market and a private citizen from La Veta who provided food for firefighters earlier in the day.

DeTray said the scene was clear at 9:41 am Wednesday. He said while the exact cause of the fire is still unknown, he warned the public to be extremely cautious in disposing fireplace ashes, which are believed to have been the cause of another fire in his district on CR 360 in the past week.

Upper Huerfano FPD units arrive Tuesday afternoon to help battle the ridge fire on the Spoon Ranch. Photo by Eric Mullens.

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