Residents react to Beaver Creek Wildfire

By: Joseph Dames Email
By: Joseph Dames Email

Fire crews in the rifle area have already been at it for hours after a lightning strike grew into a serious fire last night. With the dangerous wildfires on the front range, fire officials wanted to make sure all hands were on deck to help prevent the fire from spreading.

“You have your adrenaline going right away and you start thinking forward immediately on what needs to be done", said Susie Hoeppli, Rifle resident.

Hoeppli says she smelled smoke last night and rushed to the top floor of her home, she spotted flames just a few miles away. Wildfire striking her home isn't something she likes to think about, but has to with a ranch full of animals she would need to get to safety.

"The bigger concern for having a fire close by is getting the animals out of here; we have horses, donkeys, llamas, so it becomes a challenge”, says Hoeppli.

Being prepared is the name of the game, something local fire management officials say they've done.
"We spent probably the last month and a half preparing and getting the guys trained up, physical fitness wise, fire education, and they are ready to hit the line", said Josh Graham, Interagency Fire Management Officer.

That time paid off,[Beaver Creek] fire grew to just about 17 acres.

"It's really safe today, last night we weren't so sure, it's right adjacent to private property, no structures in the immediate area, but just some large chunks of private property", said Graham.
EnCana has shut down 32 natural gas wells because of the fires burning outside rifle as a precaution.


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