Video: Firefighters Get Warm Reception After Battling Lake Christine Blaze

The yellow hats indicate fires, which are particularly bad in the West this season due to severe heat and droughts.
The yellow hats indicate fires, which are particularly bad in the West this season due to severe heat and droughts. Google Crisis Response Team

A fire burning about a mile northwest of Basalt that was allegedly sparked by people shooting at a range has charred about 6,300 acres in southwest Colorado.

Despite the Lake Christine fire's devastation, about 750 residents of the area turned out on Tuesday, July 10, to thank firefighters returning to camp after a day of battling the blaze.

"They don't always get this kind of a reception or this warm of a welcome," says Roger Staats, Northern Rockies Incident Commander, at the start of the video, which was given to Westword by Outside Adventure Media. "A lot of times people clap, but a lot of times people don't even care, so this is absolutely huge for what these folks do."

Streams of firefighters, who came from around the West to help, can be seen waving at the crowd, some visibly touched by the outpouring of support.

Nearly 400 personnel are responding to the fire, which was 43 percent contained as of late July 11. The area will could soon see thunderstorms that would produce heavy rain, helping with fire-fighting efforts but prompting concerns of flash flooding.

Colorado is battling a number of fires during this particularly dry season, including the 416 fire outside Durango, which was about 50 percent contained as of late July 11, as well as the Spring Creek Fire, which is about 77 percent contained. Governor John Hickenlooper visited the Lake Christine fire command center on Friday, July 6.

Follow the Eagle County Sheriff's Office on Facebook or visit for updates on the Lake Christine fire. 
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Ana Campbell has been Westword's managing editor since 2016. She has worked at magazines and newspapers around the country, picking up a few awards along the way for her writing and editing. She grew up in south Texas.
Contact: Ana Campbell