By Anna Maria Basquez
GYPSUM, Colo. (CBS4) – The Duck Pond Fire that came within feet of private homes throughout Eagle Valley was determined to be human-caused. It was 100% contained Thursday.
No structures were burned.
“The majority of it was on BLM-managed public lands, there was a tenth of an acre of private lands burned right up to the edge of the homes there,” said Eric Coulter, public affairs for Bureau of Land Management. “We do have the Duck Pond fire 100% contained as of today. It definitely could have gone bad, but luckily crews were able to get on it fast. Weather died down, winds died down and we made favorable progress on stopping it where it was.”
An estimated 350 people were evacuated as flames flirted with the land just behind a huge housing area in Gypsum as the fire was started early on. All were allowed back into their homes by the night of Easter Sunday, he said.
“We were able to walk the perimeter and get more accurate acreage and it was around 95 acres total. The Bureau of Land Management currently has a closure of any of the burned lands and hazard trees for all the burned lands within the fire perimeter. That does include the community river access and Gypsum campgrounds,” Coulter said.
The fire started just past 1 p.m. April 16. Officials determined early this week it was human-caused and are not releasing any information beyond that until the investigation is final.
“A majority of the hot spots have been mopped up,” Coulter said. “We do have staff in the area monitoring the burning area. It is at 100 percent containment. That basically means we feel confident nothing is going to come back up and move beyond the interior of the fire.”
The fighting of the fire was a collaborative effort between local, county, state and federal agencies, Coulter said.
“We did order aircraft but due to the winds, helicopters across the Front Range were unable to go.”
Gypsum has a town population of just more than 8,000.
The last major incident to the area, he said, was the Grizzly Creek Fire in August 2020.