Wildfire Near Woodland Park Considered 'Suspicious'

The Teller County sheriff says a small wildfire in the Woodland Park area is suspicious. The fire was quickly extinguished by firefighters and a helicopter Thursday afternoon.

The fire was on Forest Service land behind the Walmart on 19600 Highway 24 on the east end of Woodland Park.

"It was pretty big, and with the wind it looked like a pretty substantial fire was getting started," said Mike O'Connor, who manages the Denny's nearby.

Sheriff Mike Ensminger says it seems to fit the same pattern of the seven arson fires set within two hours in the town of Divide. All the fires seemed to have started selectively at a very dry fuel source. In this case, it was an old stump.

The sheriff says this is a scary situation.

"This person is playing with people's lives, not just their property," he said.

"They've got to be out of their minds! It's so dry out here, that's like lighting a match to everything. There's no way to justify that," said Dave Sayer, another witness.

This fire burned less than half an acre.