NEW CASTLE, Colo. — For more than a century a small town near the Western Slope has been burning its way into Colorado’s history book.
The town of New Castle is home to a historic coal seam fire that has been burning for more than 120 years, according to History Colorado.
There are actually two coal seam fires burning in New Castle, but the biggest and longest running is by far the one burning at the old Vulcan Mine.
In the late 1800s into the early 1900s, New Castle was known as a coal mining town.
Steve Turner, the Executive Director of History Colorado, said coal seam fires aren’t rare. In fact there are more than 1,000 of them world-wide. But what makes Colorado’s unique, is its age.
“[It] is actually the longest burning fire in the country. It started in the late 1800s,” Turner explained.
For residents of New Castle, it’s considered a source of pride.
“We have this historic feature right here in town,” said New Castle Mayor Pro-Tempore, Bruce Leland.
In the winter months you can usually see smoke rising from the site of the fire on Burning Mountain, even from as far back as I-70.
New Castle is about 15 miles west of Glenwood Springs. To learn more about the town, click here.
To see Kevin Torres‘ ‘Unique 2 Colorado‘ story about the 120-year-old fire, hit play on the video attached to this story.
Editor’s Note: Special thanks to Ann Louise Ramsey for helping us tell this story by sharing her photographs and video of New Castle!