PARK COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — The Park County Sheriff’s Office says criminal charges will be pursued in the Badger Creek Fire.

The fire started on Wednesday near Hartsel and burned 41 acres. The fire is fully contained, but fire crews are monitoring hot spots. Smoke may still be visible in the area.

The sheriff’s office said that after an investigation, they believe the fire was the result of a homeowner’s careless actions on their private property, which were in violation of the fire ban.

The fire spread quickly and out of control due to the dry weather conditions.

No structures were lost in the fire, but the sheriff’s office said a firefighter suffered superficial burns during the response but did not require further medical attention.

Stage 1 fire ban

Park County is currently in a Stage 1 fire ban. During a Stage 1 fire ban, the following are prohibited:

  • Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire or campfire except within a developed recreation site, or improved site.
  • Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.
  • Operating or using any internal or external combustion engine without a spark-arresting device properly installed, maintained, and in effective working order meeting either the USDA Forest Service Standard or appropriate Society of Automotive Engineers recommended practice.

Have a plan in place

The International Fire Chiefs Association said it’s crucial to have an action plan in place in case a wildfire starts.

  • Important phone numbers- Emergency and non-emergency
  • The owner of your property
  • List of local news and radio stations
  • Location of electrical and natural gas shut offs
  • Directions notating all neighborhood exits
  • Exit routes
  • Meeting location
  • Area shelters/safety zones

It’s important to know that any fire that starts could spread quickly during a red flag warning.