SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. – Saturday marked the fourth day in a fire fight against the Peak 2 Fire near Breckenridge.
Crews managed to keep the fire at 84 acres and 25 percent containment throughout the day. But while there was no growth in the size of the blaze, residents saw growth in the number of people on the front lines.
One-hundred twenty personnel battled the burn ahead of the weekend, but officials saw that number triple to 362 by Saturday morning.
“They have 45-pound packs, they have chainsaws that weigh 23 pounds,” said Josh Graham with the U.S. Forest Service. “We ask them to take all these sharp tools, and all this heavy equipment... Go up into a hazardous situation, and make sure you bring home everyone safely. That's asking a lot of our firefighters.”
Many crews traveled from around the United States. One difficulty, among many, is getting familiar with Colorado’s elevation.
Another is the rugged Colorado terrain and the beetle-kill trees surrounding the Peak 2 Fire.
The fire fight is not limited to the ground though. Denver7 crews got a look inside the National Guard’s UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter. The aircraft is a familiar sight in emergency situations.
— Alan Stedman (@AlanStedman7) July 8, 2017
“We have the ability to not only have fire buckets and put water on the fire, but we also have the ability to provide the search and rescue piece,” Steven Leflar said. He’s a Staff Sergeant with Colorado’s National Guard.
Residents allowed to return home
The 463 residents of the Peak 7 subdivision that were evacuated due to the fire were allowed to return home Friday night, but while evacuation orders were lifted, pre-evacuation notices remained in place for three other neighborhoods as well as for the Town of Breckenridge.
Stage 1 fire restrictions remain in effect through the White River National Forest and much of Eagle, Garfield, Mesa, Rio Blanco and Summit counties.
The fire started just after 11 a.m. Wednesday and was discovered by mountain biker in the area. The cause of the fire remains undetermined at this time.
The following interactive map shows you the fire location, current evacuation areas as well as the smoke forecast:
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