Fire scorches Treasure Mountain
SIERRAVILLE – Firefighters battling a blaze outside of Sierraville went without air attacks for a short while Tuesday morning, after the Federal Aviation Administration ordered all planes grounded following the attack on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.
“We were fortunate the weather was moist and cool so it wasn’t a critical thing, but we were concerned at first,” said Sam Wilbanks, U.S. Forest Service district ranger for Sierraville. Wilbanks said when the FAA lifted the ban for firefighting aircraft in the late morning, air attack on the fire was “used effectively.” Five airtankers and five helicopters were scheduled to fight the wildfire Tuesday morning.
The Treasure Fire was detected Monday at 6 p.m. on the sides of Treasure Mountain, three miles south of Sierraville. By midnight, the fire crossed Highway 89, closing the road for several hours and threatening several homes in the Canyon Ranch and Campbell Hot Springs areas.
Although no mandatory evacuations were issued, several residents voluntarily left their homes in Campbell Hot Springs.
As of press time Wednesday, 282 acres had burned and the fire was 50 percent contained. Threatened homes remained under protection. Total containment is expected this evening and control is expected by Saturday.
The cost of the Treasure Fire is estimated at $700,000 and the cause is under investigation.