The Crestone Eagle, July 2008:

Lighting starts fire on Gibson Peak

by Mary Lowers

As the Eagle goes to press, the small Gibson Peak Fire that started June 18 was still burning four miles north and 2,000 ft. above the Town of Crestone near the wilderness boundary below the peak itself at an elevation of 10,000 ft. The fire, apparently caused by lightning, is approximately two acres in size and is fueled by pinon and juniper on a rocky ridge. The fire is being closely monitored by Forest Service Fire Officials and is expected to burn out. As of June 23 the fire was putting out very little smoke.

The fire produced smoke that could be seen in the northern Valley. After accessing the fire, Forest Service fire officials decided to let the fire burn—what is called a Wilderness Fire Use. This allows the naturally caused fire under strict monitoring to continue burning for ecological benefit.

As of June 23, a small fire was reported two miles south of U.S. Hwy. 160 between South Fork and Del Norte in the Shaw Creek area. It was suppressed because it was near private land. A third fire was reported on the same day west of Saguache. As of late June this half acre fire was still being suppressed.

Fire danger is reported to be high below 10,000 ft. and moderate above that elevation. Fire danger is expected to increase until the monsoons bring rain to the Valley. People are cautioned to be extremely careful with any fire—including fireworks—and make sure all camp fires are out cold!