Barbara Lawlor, Gold Hill. On Monday, July 4, 2016 around 2:30 p.m., Gold Hill, Four Mile and Sunshine Fire Protection Districts were dispatched to a report of a vehicle totally engulfed in flames at the 6700 mile marker of Sunshine Canyon. For weeks, the mountains west of Boulder have been baking in hot sunshine with little moisture, at least not enough to keep the grasses from drying out. When the dispatch told the fire department that the flames were about to spread into the dry meadow, the response was instant and urgent. Many of the fire engines had just been driving in the annual Gold Hill Fourth of July Parade when the call went out.
Within minutes of arriving, the fire was knocked down and firefighters continued to drown any stubborn flames that kept popping up from the wheel well.
Boulder County Sheriff’s deputies and AMR also responded to the scene although no one was injured in the fire.
A 20-year-old male was driving a black Dodge pick-up truck and pulling a trailer with ATVs when smoke started coming from the engine compartment. The driver stopped on the side of the road just as flames erupted. The driver and his passenger were able to get out of the truck unharmed, but the vehicle was engulfed in flames.
The firefighters extinguished the flames and made sure the fire didn’t spread into the surrounding meadow. Sunshine Canyon was closed temporarily until the flames were out. When the vehicle was removed, the road was re-opened to traffic which was unusually heavy because the Gold Hill Inn was hosting its annual Fourth of July party, which went on all day.