Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Fire breaks out near China Gardens

Police and sheriff investigate third summer fire in three years

Express Staff Writer

It is becoming a summer tradition for fires to break out on or near the Old Board Ranch property west of the China Gardens subdivision in Hailey.

In July 2007, a small fire, started by fireworks, was quickly put out by firefighters before causing harm to people or private property. In July 2008, a fire started by kids consumed more than seven acres of riverside land and threatened 12 homes in the area, leaving charred trunks of cottonwoods in its wake.

This summer is no different.

On Thursday afternoon about 3 p.m., a fire broke out at the south end of Aspen Drive, bordering the Cedar Bend Preserve. Thanks to quick responses by four fire trucks from the Hailey Fire Department and one from Wood River Fire and Rescue, the fire was extinguished after consuming only about 200 square feet.

The Hailey Police Department and Blaine County Sheriff are investigating the cause of the blaze, which started only 120 feet from homes on Aspen Drive.

Hailey Fire Department Capt. Mike Baledge said it was lucky that the fire did not spread to tall trees in the area, perhaps because of wet, cool weather this spring.

As the summer wears on, he said, that luck could change.

"After the hot weather forecast for this weekend, all bets are off," he said.

Tony Evans:

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