Evacuation order lifted for residents near Peak 2 Fire in Breckenridge

Peak 2 Fire

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. — Crews have limited the growth of the Peak 2 Fire in Summit County and evacuations for nearly 500 residences were lifted Friday night.

Officials said at a community meeting that residents of 463 homes in the Peak 7 neighborhood would be allowed to return home beginning at 8 p.m. Friday.

That’s when the status of the Peak 7 neighborhood changed from mandatory evacuation to pre-evacuation.

The Peak 7 neighborhood will remain on pre-evacuation status until further notice because wildfire conditions can change rapidly and there is still a risk.

Trails and roads in the fire area were still closed as firefighting activity continues.

The fire was 84 acres in size Friday night. Fire managers said it was 25 percent contained.

The fire was first reported just after 11 a.m. Wednesday by a mountain biker between Breckenridge and Frisco.

The fire did not grow Thursday or Friday because of cooler and cloudier weather.

The Rocky Mountain Type 1 Incident Management Team assumed command of the fire on Friday morning.

Incident commander Todd Pechota said he does not expect the fire to grow Friday, but crews are battling rugged terrain in making about 60 percent of a fire line.

Firefighters will continue constructing a containment line along the northwest and southeast flanks of the fire, but there has not been a strong ground attack because of several spot fires and the danger of falling trees.

“I’m scared we’re going to get somebody killed — not from the fire, but from trees falling over,” Pechota said. “Based on the weather and the predicted fire behavior (Friday) and (Saturday), I think the fire is going to do exactly what it did (Thursday), which is not much. So we have to take our time.”

The fire is burning in the Miner’s Creek drainage two miles north of Breckenridge Ski Area. There is no direct threat to the town of Breckenridge.

“The best of the best have come to work alongside our local emergency services professionals to fight this fire,” Breckenridge Mayor Eric Mamula said. “From the local agencies to the state folks to the national teams, we are incredibly grateful for all the courageous, unselfish efforts.”

The pre-evacuation notice for the entire town of Breckenridge, and the Silver Shekel, Gold Hill and Farmer’s Korner neighborhoods was also canceled Friday night.

No injuries have been reported and no structures have been destroyed, the Breckenridge Police Department said.

The fire is burning in rocky, rugged, heavily forested trees that is being fueled by dead beetle killed pine, making containment difficult.

“There are three problems with that. First, it burns really hot,” a fire spokesman said. “Second is it throws spot fires and embers all over the place. And the third is the trees can come down without warning.”

In all, 120 personnel are working the fire, including five engines, a helicopter and three crews. Eight smokejumpers and a 21-person hotshot crew also have worked to fight the fire.

Two heavy air tankers dropping retardant and two helicopters dropping buckets of water will continue to be used Friday.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.