COLORADO SPRINGS — Colorado Springs firefighters who spent two weeks helping at the Grizzly Creek Fire along I-70 are back from the assignment. “A lot of extreme fire behavior,” is what they faced according to Captain Steve Oswald with Colorado Springs Fire Department. Oswald and two other firefighters were sent as part of a mutual aid agreement that provides added resources on large fires.
The steep terrain of Glenwood Canyon made for a tough firefight. Dry conditions were also evident as the crew worked overnight. The shift is when temperatures drop, humidity rises and fire activity usually decreases. This fire isn't typical. "On that fire we were seeing fire runs, torching, a lot of active fire behavior activity into the early morning hours," said Oswald.
Them worked to protect homes in the area of No Name. The also did structure protection at the landmark Bair Ranch along I-70. Some nights they patrolled for fire starts from either flying embers or lightning. "A lot of rocks, lot of burning logs came down on the interstate,” said Oswald, “We had one engine from our structure protection group that was hit by a rock, took out the rear duals for one day." The also experienced why I-70 was closed for more reasons than poor visibility from smoke.
Along with offering help the crews gains experience. Skill they bring back to Colorado Springs.