A wildfire caused by a downed DMEA power line charred about five acres along Back River Road on Labor Day.
Dubbed the Back River Road Fire, Hotchkiss Fire District assistant fire chief Steve Schroder said the department received a report of a fire on Back River Road near Hotchkiss at about 6:15 p.m. Monday, Sept. 4. High winds had downed the power line along the road, resulting in a brush fire. The department dispatched four units and eight firefighters to the scene.
High southern winds caused the fire to spread quickly, and the downed power line hampered, but didn't stop efforts to extinguish the fire, said Schroder. The Paonia Volunteer Fire Department was called and assisted with two trucks and five firefighters. The fire was reported under control by about 9 p.m.
A drone video of the fire taken by the Hotchkiss Marshal's Office can be viewed on the Fire District Facebook page.
According to Becky Mashburn with DMEA, the fire affected service to 1,111 DMEA members starting at 6 p.m. "Power was restored in stages as we were able to setup alternate routes with all power being restored at 8:20 p.m.," wrote Mashburn in an email. Crews completed the line repair by Tuesday morning.
On Tuesday, Sept. 11, the Delta County Board of Commissioners called a special meeting to consider the board's response to the Bureau of Land Management's preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) concerning the lease parcels proposed for the December BLM sale.
Several people from the North Fork were present to provide input.