By Logan Smith

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) — Firefighting crews at the scene of a small wildland fire the Summit County landfill are being held back while flames are “heading up into the trees,” according to a fire department spokesman Sunday afternoon.

Steve Lipsher of Summit Fire & EMS said wind was blowing down trees in the area. For that reason, a firefighting aircraft was being called in.

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“We are not comfortable putting firefighters in there,” Lipsher told CBS4.

The helicopter made some water drops but then suffered mechanical difficulties with the bucket and departed, according to Lipsher. Fire crews were able to adjust.

“We did run some hose lines up the flanks of it,” Lipsher said.

Where the fire burned in mostly sagebrush, firefighters gained control, he added.

The fire is located north of Highway 6 (Loveland Pass Road) midway between the Keystone Resort and Lake Dillon.

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(credit: Summit Fire & EMS)

It started adjacent to a shooting range that is next to the landfill property, Lipsher confirmed.

“That hillside is dry, bare. It’s south-facing,” Lipsher said, “and it melted off early this year. It’s dry, dry, dry. It looks like May.”

Lipsher described another year’s fire in the month of March: “The firefighters were literally shoveling snow onto the fire.”

That is not the case with conditions this year, and it is concerning.

“We’re all pretty gun-shy. We went through a horrible fire season last year.”

(credit: Summit Fire & EMS)

As of 4:15 p.m., the fire still measures between two and two-and-a-half acres. Lipsher said.

It was reported shortly after noon.

Fire crews and equipment from the US Forest Service and Red, White and Blue Fire in Dillon are assisting Summit County crews.


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Logan Smith