Firefighters battle snowcat blaze with snowmaking equipment at Keystone Resort |

Firefighters battle snowcat blaze with snowmaking equipment at Keystone Resort

Summit Fire & EMS responded to a snowcat that was engulfed in flames at Keystone Resort on Jan. 16, 2020.
Courtesy Summit Fire & EMS

KEYSTONE — Summit Fire & EMS responded to a fire at Keystone Resort last week after one of the mountain’s snowcats burst into flames.

At about 1:30 a.m. Jan. 16, a crew with Summit Fire arrived at the resort and was escorted in snowcats to the top of Dercum Mountain, according to Chief Jeff Berino. While the firefighters brought extinguishers with them, they ended up using a more creative method to douse the flames.

“With the help of Keystone crews, we were able to hook into the snowmaking system and get some water on the fire, which is pretty innovative,” Berino said.

Images show the vehicle engulfed in flames.

“By the time we got there, it had mostly been consumed,” Berino said. “There were a lot of plastics inside the vehicle, along with hydraulic fuel and diesel. Keystone did some suppression efforts also. But by the time we got up on the mountain, it was a total loss.”

While the vehicle couldn’t be saved, no injuries were reported. Berino said the cause of the fire is unknown and that the resort didn’t ask the department to investigate. He noted the department could launch an investigation of its own if foul play was suspected, but he said that wasn’t the case.

Berino also said this was the second snowcat fire on Dercum Mountain in recent memory, but he said the last one was several years ago.

In all, it took firefighters about 2 1/2 hours to put out the fire once they arrived on scene at the base of the mountain.

“It was a long night for everybody,” Berino said.

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