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Children playing with lighter started wildfire in Durango West I subdivision

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Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018 7:42 PM
Two children playing with a lighter started a wildfire Dec. 29 in the Durango West I subdivision, about eight miles west of Durango city limits.

Two juveniles playing with a lighter started last week’s wildfire that burned 3 acres in the Durango West I subdivision, about eight miles west of Durango city limits, authorities said Thursday.

Firefighters were called to Wood Crest Drive about 12:30 p.m. Dec. 29 for a report of smoke in the area.

They initially used informal two-track mountain biking trails adjacent to the subdivision to build fire lines on the north side of the fire to separate the blaze from the subdivision.

Deputies with the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office helped prepare residents for evacuation, but evacuation was never required after the fire moved south away from the subdivision.

Karola Hanks, fire marshal with Durango Fire Protection District, declined to say what punishment the children will face, if any.

She said the fire district offers an educational program for children displaying fire-setting behavior.

“We have had many instances with children whose parents have brought them to us,” she said. “The fire district will work with kids in an educational manner to help prevent this type of activity in the future.”

mrupani@durangoherald.com

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