Old La Sal fire caused by kids playing with matches

Children playing with matches on Thursday, June 28 started a fire in an area of homes on Pine Ridge near Old La Sal, according to the San Juan Record.

The blaze was driven by hot winds and it quickly spread through extremely dry vegetation. Two homes and one rental property were threatened by the fire.

“First on the scene were neighbors who quickly responded to the sight of smoke,” wrote reporter Maxine Deeter. “Two were fortunate enough to have access to front-end loaders, one small and one large. A quick-thinking heavy equipment operator bladed a fire line which helped to protect the homes. Others fought by hand with shovels until more resources arrived at the scene. Workers employed nearby for a construction company also arrived soon after with a water tanker.”

One log-sided home was scorched on the back but there was no substantial damage to the home. The fire jumped a 40-foot dirt road and ignited a large pile of firewood near the home. The pump house for the home was destroyed by the fire. Fortunately, the wood pile was several feet from other structures.

Resources on the fire included San Juan County and the La Sal Local Volunteer Fire Department, U.S. Forest Service and BLM trucks and fire fighters. Mopping of hot spots continued into the afternoon and evening to assure the fire did not start up again. The fire scorched approximately 10 acres.