Jul 192005
Authors: Erin Skarda

July's summer heat has brought many small fires across the Front Range, some a little too close for comfort.

For updated fire information please call the Forest Service's recorded line at 498-1030

Visit www.smokeybear.com for tips on fire prevention and how to build and put out fires.

The Drake Fire, which was found Sunday, is located south of the town of Drake and east of Waltonia, about 14 miles west of Loveland and south of Highway 34.

"That one is interesting because it is half mile away from some houses," said Mary Ann Chambers, a representative for Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests. "The thing is the terrain is really steep."

Although the fire, which has so far burned 14 acres, is close to homes in Waltonia, there have been no evacuations or structures threatened.

As of Tuesday at 10 a.m. the fire was 75 percent contained, with 22 people working on it.

"What's happening with the Drake Fire is that some hot spots within the fire are burning heavily," Chambers said.

Another fire in a remote area 12 miles southwest of Loveland, Hell's Canyon Fire, was 100 percent contained Tuesday morning, but not completely out.

Chambers said both fires are believed to have started by a lightening storm Saturday night.

Tuesday a five-person crew was working on Hell's Canyon fire, which was also found Sunday. The fire, which has burned five acres, was in such a remote area that eight smoke jumpers were flown in by helicopter Monday.

"Fire is not a bad thing, depending on where it is," Chambers said. "Most of the area burned was grass and shrubs. We worry when it is so close to so many people."

Chambers warns people to still be cautious, especially when the fire danger is high, like it has been.

"We always want people to do the same things no matter what the fire danger is," she said.

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