A storage building has been declared a total loss after a fire Sunday. According to a press release from the Basalt and Rural Fire Protection District, around 4:30 PM, multiple people called to report the fire at 350 Tree Farm Drive, across Highway 82 from the Willits Town Center. Responding firefighters reported seeing a large plume of smoke and active flames. Firefighters aggressively attacked the fire, not only because of it’s potential to spread under the current dry conditions, but also because propane, acetylene and oxygen tanks as well as ammunition and reloading supplies were stored nearby. Within 45 minutes of the fire departments arrival, the fire was knocked down.
A wood outbuilding containing solar panels, a Conex shipping container and a Quonset hut were lost in the fire. Basalt Fire officials have not yet determined the monetary loss from the fire. The fire is believed to have been caused by a resident of the property cutting steel with a cutoff saw, in violation of the Stage 2 fire restrictions. Sparks coming from the metal ignited nearby cheat grass and spread quickly from there, despite the resident’s attempts to stomp out the fire.
22 Members of the Basalt Fire Department responded to the fire with 7 vehicles. Highway 82 was closed for a time as well. In addition to the fire department, the Basalt Police Department, Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control, Colorado State Patrol, Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, Holy Cross Energy and the Snowmass Wildcat Fire Protection District all responded.
Stage 2 fire restrictions are in effect throughout the KMTS listening area, including all of Garfield, Pitkin and Eagle counties, as well as all land administered by the White River National Forest and the Colorado River Valley BLM office. A complete list of prohibited activities is posted here.
The press release from the Basalt Fire Department did not indicate if charges were pending. No injuries were reported.