Badger Creek Fire in Park County caused by person violating local burn ban

Published: Apr. 13, 2023 at 6:16 AM MDT|Updated: Apr. 13, 2023 at 11:54 AM MDT
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HARTSEL, Colo. (KKTV) - A fire that forced mandatory evacuations was caused by a careless homeowner, the Park County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Thursday.

The fire broke out Wednesday afternoon southwest of the town of Hartsel near Latigo Loop and McMurray Road. The Park County Sheriff’s Office issued an evacuation order for those living in a 5-mile radius of the fire. The order was downgraded later that night.

Investigators now believe a homeowner violated the local fire ban, starting a fire that quickly grew out of control.

“Park County Sheriff Tom McGraw will be pursuing criminal charges,” the sheriff’s office said. “... After an investigation, law enforcement believes the fire was a result of a homeowner careless actions on their private property, in violation of the local fire ban. The fire spread quickly and out of control due to the weather conditions.”

The Badger Creek Fire burned 41 acres before firefighters were able to contain it.

“Thanks to the efforts of the Harstel Fire Protection District and responding agencies, no structures have been lost. A firefighter suffered superficial burns during the response but did not require further medical attention,” the sheriff’s office said.

Residents can expect to see some smoke in the area Thursday. The pre-evacuation order remains in effect; residents under that order should continue to be ready to evacuate, the sheriff’s office said.