Evacuees head home as Ptarmigan Fire sees little overnight activity
At 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 30, evacuation orders for the Hamilton Creek and Angler Mountain Ranch neighborhoods were lifted and credentialed residents were welcomed back into their homes.
All areas — including Hamilton Creek, Angler Mountain Ranch, South 40 and Ptarmigan neighborhoods as well as people who live east of Summit County Road 2020 and north of Summit County Road 2021 — remain in pre-evacuation status, and residents are advised to be vigilant and ready to go should conditions change.
Residents are also asked to observe the strict forest closure for the burn area and associated trails. U.S. Forest Service spokesperson David Boyd said this is to keep people away from the fire as well as to avoid disruptions to firefighting efforts.
Boyd said the Ptarmigan Fire didn’t see any growth Wednesday night, but it remains active. The fire also didn’t grow Tuesday night, but Boyd said there was a lot of interior burning that night, which was not the case Wednesday night. The weather has continued to play on the side of firefighting efforts.
“All this rain helps moderate the fire activity, which allows us to get more work done on the ground,” Boyd said. “But it’s not out. If you think about a campfire and you pour water on it, and then if you dig down a little bit like Smokey tells you to, it’s still hot underneath. So it’s kind of the same thing. It just takes a lot to extinguish a fire that’s in heavy timber like this.”
Boyd said a downside of the weather is grounding of air assets due to visibility. While no air resources have been used yet Wednesday, he said they are anticipating bringing in helicopters to support the ground crew as weather clears up.
There is still no containment on the fire, but Boyd said he expects to see some Wednesday based on recent work.
“We’re going to continue to be putting in fire line where it’s safe to do so and where it’s the most effective,” Boyd said.
Only credentialed residents will be allowed in these areas until further notice. Residents of the Hamilton Creek and Angler Mountain Ranch neighborhoods will be able to obtain credentials until 11 a.m. at Silverthorne Town Hall, 601 Center Circle. On Friday, residents can get credentialed from 8-11 a.m. at the same location.
There is still no cause for the fire, which is estimated between 85 and 100 acres.
According to a Forest Service news release, there are 155 personnel assigned to the fire, including a sawyer crew focused on mitigation of hazards from dead standing trees.
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