On Wednesday at about 1:53 p.m., fire crews in the Aspen area were notified of a wildland fire that was starting to spread near McLain Flats Road.
A total of 16 personnel responded to the scene and had the 1/2-acre wildfire contained within about 20 minutes, dousing the blaze completely within an hour.While this blaze might not seem like anything noteworthy, the cause of the fire is a bit outside of the norm and the very fact that it took place could be an indicator for dangerous times to come.
It was apparent to responding crews that the blaze was started by a bird that had flown into power lines. While Holy Cross Electric arrived quickly to tend to any equipment that may have been damaged, this serves as a reminder that in conditions as dry as those in Colorado, wildfires don't take much to get going. Even a sporadic act like a bird colliding with power lines can be enough to start a blaze.
According to authorities at Aspen Fire Protection District, "fires occurring this early in the season in the high country are an ominous reminder that our ongoing drought conditions have set us up for an above average wildland fire season."
As of April 6, 92 percent of Colorado was experiencing drought conditions. This compares to 47 percent one year ago. In conditions this dry, it will be even more crucial that those in Colorado take every step possible to prevent starting a fire, paying close attention to restrictions, weather, and changing conditions throughout the year.