Good news for one wildfire burning in our area: the Springer fire is now 100 percent contained as of 6 p.m. Saturday.
The fire burned through 1,145 acres in the Pike National Forest 3.5 miles from Lake George. At its height, it forced hundreds of evacuations. All evacuees have been allowed to return home.
The fire was first reported around 1 p.m. June 17 as a two-to-four acre blaze in the Springer Gulch, giving the fire its name. It quickly ballooned in size as it rapidly spread, forcing the mandatory evacuations of at least 500 residents of Park County as the fire crept near their homes. Eighty-five boy scouts, many from out of state, were among those forced to flee in those chaotic early hours.
Officials currently suspect that recreational shooting sparked the fire. The Park County Sheriff's Office, working in conjunction with the U.S. Forest Service, FBI and ATF, is currently investigating this possibility. Anyone with information that could assist with this investigation is asked to contact these agencies through a dedicated tip line at 719-836-4117, or by sending an e-mail to email@example.com.
Throughout the course of the fire, weather conditions ranged from excessively hot to very windy. That challenge was coupled with struggles against the rough, inaccessible terrain full of snags, rocks and mine shafts. More than 450 firefighters assisted.
There has been an outpouring of support towards those affected by the fire. Officials have called the support "overwhelming" in a statement released Wednesday. Below is the full text from that statement.
The Springer fire has been overwhelmed with support from the communities in the area of the Springer fire. There have been many inquiries on how to support the firefighters on the fire line. We would like to help direct these support efforts in the most effective direction.
While the firefighters on the Springer fire are working in very rough conditions it may seem that they are doing without at this time, however it is quite the opposite. The Incident command team works very hard at taking care of our firefighters in making sure they are fed, have a place to sleep, a place to shower and any other items they may need. Our firefighters come prepared to stay for a 14 day assignment which includes a 14 day supply of their daily necessities. Their meals are prepared daily by a caterer who provides the firefighters with all the food that they require including the calories and nutritional requirements they need to work the conditions on the fire line.
There are a few ways that the community can support our firefighters. The best way that you can show support is to thank them for the work that they have done. You can send your letters to firstname.lastname@example.org. The firefighters will have a chance to read your messages of support. If you wish to make a monetary donation to the firefighters, the Wildland Fire Fighter Foundation support firefighters and their families in times of need. You can visit their website to learn more about the foundation or to make a donation http://www.wffoundation.org/.
We want to remind the public that the Incident Command Post for the Springer fire, the Red Cross and the Sheriff's office cannot take food donations. We can take donations of unopened, bottled water and Gatorade only. If you would like to donate food, please contact your local fire department for their specific needs such as non-perishable foods
The Springer fire thanks you for your tremendous support.