Campfire ignites construction debris

dump fire fsBarbara Lawlor, Nederland.     Nederland Fire Protection District and United States Forest Service firefighters were alerted to a wildland fire burning in the West Magnolia Camp Ground area on Monday afternoon.

The fire was located in a large mitigated area near the fence line of Los Lagos Ranch. It was a large, mostly clear-cut section with native grasses and wildflowers growing in the cut area. Firefighters ascertained that the burning material was construction debris, with potentially hazardous materials included in the dump. The fire scorched an area about 10 by 10 feet and burned deep into the pile of trash.

The fire was probably started by a campfire that was blown onto the debris pile that was dumped.  Therefore the person who did the dumping did not start the fire.

Timberline Fire Protection District was asked to assist with a tanker and the firefighters continued dousing the layers of debris until they were out.

About 12:30 a Colorado Springs ham radio operator received a call from another ham radio operator who was hiking on the Fourth of July trail and located an injured man. The man had fallen and hit his head and the ham radio operator called for assistance.

The Ned firefighters left the West Mag fire to the US Forest Service firefighters and responded to the location, about a mile and a half above the trailhead. Rocky Mountain Rescue Group and AMR Ambulance also responded to the call.

The patient, Michael Schuet, had slipped and fallen after crossing a stream. He was able to walk to the trailhead with assistance from the rescuers.


Barbara is a reporter for The Mountain-Ear.

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