Poncha Pass brush fire put out


SAGUACHE COUNTY — The Northern Saguache County Fire Protection District volunteer firefighters were paged out at 12:16 p.m. on Monday to a wildland fire approximately four miles south of the summit of Poncha Pass.

Two volunteer firefighters from Saguache were passing by and reported the fire. The fire began in the yard of a home and quickly began to spread north to a neighboring property, according to Northern Saguache County Fire Protection District Chief Wesley Moores.

In total two residential homes were threatened but narrowly escaped damage, Moores said. The fire was burning in short brush and burned approximately five acres. Flame lengths were 4 feet and at times moved rapidly across the area. The fire slightly damaged an old log barn, and another wood outbuilding (with an automobile inside) was completely lost, Moores added.

There were no injuries reported by either civilians or firefighters. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Northern Saguache County Fire responded with three brush trucks, two engines and three water tenders and 14 firefighters. Chaffee County Fire Protection District assisted as a mutual aid department with two brush trucks and one command vehicle and a total of five firefighters.

Firefighters were also assisted by Engine 3161 from the Colorado Division of Prevention and Control with four firefighters and the USFS sent two overhead team members and one wildland engine with a crew of two to assist.

“I would like to also thank the occupants of the homes and two private citizens whom were passing by for assisting our two members in initial attack and keeping the fire from damaging the first home before our arrival with apparatus,” Chief Moores said.

The fire was 10 miles from the nearest station and remaining fire department help had to come from more than 30 miles away.

“While wild land fires are unusual at this time of year they are not unheard of with the lack of moisture we have received in the area,” Moores said. “We would like to remind everyone to be extra cautious this year.”