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Fire north of Woodland Park is human caused, 7th in area this year

Turkey Track 7 Fire latest

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. -  A 40-acre fire is burning off of Highway 67, nine miles north of Woodland Park.

This fire is being called the Turkey Track 7 Fire. It is 60% contained. No buildings are threatened.

As of Wednesday night, the forest service said control lines are in around the fire and work is underway to secure the lines. 

Unfortunately, it’s not the first time crews responded to a fire in this area.

“It's the seventh fire this year. So we are concerned about the number of incidents we’re having this early in the season in this one location," said Mike Smith, the fire information officer.

People driving by, shocked.

“My goodness, 7th? It seems to me like that’s no accident," said Tony Ray, who was visiting Douglas County.

The seven fires in the area happened over the past three months.

This fire is burning right near a shooting range and the rules are clear. It says don’t leave your trash but people are not following the rules and fire officials are reminding people they need to in order to avoid fires.

“The fire is human caused related to people using this area. We're encouraging the public to look at the guidelines of safe shooting and the kinds of targets they use. Don’t bring old mufflers up or things that spark when you hit them," Smith said.

The biggest fire to ever hit this area was the Hayman fire in 2002, which was also human caused. Smith worked that fire and says it's hard to forget.

“These dead trees behind us were actually killed by the layman fire in 2002 when it came through the area. It was at that time one of the most devastating fires in Colorado," he said.

The Hayman fire burned nearly 140,000 acres, 133 homes and cost $40 million to fight.

Thousands of burnt trees still tell that story today.

“It's devastating. Amazing how much average has been destroyed and nature has been damaged," Ray said.

Because the turkey track 7 fire is burning in the same spot, it poses the risk of dead trees falling on firefighters. Which is why officials say they’re being extra cautious fighting the Turkey Track 7 fire.

“If things go well, we should have this fire secured by evening, but it’ll be several days before the smoke is entirely gone," Smith said.

The shooting area at Turkey Track is closed, according to the forest service.

The immediate area around the fire will be closed until further notice for the safety of the public and firefighters.

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