NewsCovering Colorado

Actions

Illegal abandoned campfire to blame for Blodgett Peak Fire

50% contained and has burned 0.78 acres
CSFD Blodgett Peak Fire
CSFD Blodgett Peak Fire
Posted at 6:02 AM, Dec 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-25 13:35:33-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — Investigators at the Blodgett Peak Fire have determined an illegal abandoned campfire is to blame for the fire. The US Forest Service is asking anyone with information about the start of the fire to call the Pikes Peak office at (719) 636-1602.

It has burned 0.78 acres since it sparked on Wednesday, Dec. 22, south of the Air Force Academy.

Friday afternoon the US Forest Service called the fire 50% contained. Crews from the Colorado Springs Fire Department remained at the scene overnight to monitor for any flare ups.

The crew of 6 working containment was hoping to break up large burning logs and to clear up other fire hazards. Firefighters also dropped water on the fire this morning, and they could continue those efforts if the wind dies down.

There was type 3 helicopter on scene doing bucket drops Thursday morning, and more bucket drops are expected to happen on Friday. The decision was made to keep a hand crew out of the area for safety. There are concerns about the winds picking up Thursday night and Friday morning. Our crews caught video of the fire flaring up later in the night, with the flames clearly visible.

Colorado Springs Fire Department and El Paso County crews responded to the fire at Blodgett Open Space before 6 a.m. Wednesday. The fire has burned less than an acre and is near the top of Blodgett Peak. So far, there is no reported growth in fire size. At this time there is no containment on the fire.

Wildland fire crews had to hike rough terrain to get to the location about halfway to the peak. Colorado Springs Utilities lent a hand with ATVs to get crews within a mile of the location so they could hike for the next hour and a half to reach the site. The US Air Force Academy Fire Department is also assisting in this effort.

The State Multi-Mission Aircraft made a pass over the fire on Tuesday morning. A helicopter for water drops was requested from Utah but denied the request due to the winds. Later, at around 4 pm., the first fixed-wing aircraft arrived and dropped fire retardant on the area. News 5 is told it could hold up to 3,000 gallons.

"We spent you know, a week out here or more during the Waldo Fire Canyon and we're very cognizant of the impact it is to our residents and we want to reassure them we are dumping as many resources as we possible can onto this fire to make sure that nothing gets out of control."

There is pre-evacuation notification in place for the area West of Wooman Rd. No evacuations are in effect. There was an alert sent out via Peak Alerts at 10:40 a.m. stating "This is a PRE EVACUATION notice. Gather necessary items and be READY to leave at any time."

If you live in that area, you can get yourself in the mode to leave quickly by following these simple tips:

  • Back your car into the driveway
  • Confine pets to one room for easy gathering
  • Pack your car with basic supplies
  • Arrange for temporary housing

Emergency officials ask that you do not call 911 on this fire as they are aware. Please avoid the area as crews work the incident.

If you have not done so already, consider signing up for Peak Alerts from El Paso and Teller County emergency officials. You will recieve notifications impacting your neighborhood or the entire region, to include police and fire activity, plus any weather-related information. Sign up here: elpasoteller911.org/246/Peak-Alerts

Drones are not allowed in the fire area. CSFD reported at least one operator has flown in the area, which impacts aircraft missions.

First Alert 5 Weather Meteorologist Alex O'Brien explains there is a lot of dry brush and trees in the area, plus we are under high fire danger conditions today. The location is right about where the Waldo Canyon Fire stopped in the summer of 2012, leaving many burned-out trees on the range.

KOAA viewers shared video of units at the trailhead and of the small fire on the peak.

Blodgett Open Space is in northwest Colorado Springs southwest of the US Air Force Academy. The entrance to the open space is off of Woodmen Road with a neighborhood nearby.