Saturday, September 29, 2007

Manitou Springs Incline Fire

I ran up the Ute Trail this morning to scout out yesterday's fire. At the top of Rattlesnake Gulch on the first crest there is some red tape across the trail. I continued down and up to the second crest on the Ute. Apparently they had brought a Cat in yesterday and widened the trail to a road up to the first crest. From the second crest they also had plowed up to the Pipeline Trail. I turned up along this new road and joined the Pipeline trail. At the last ridge before the Incline I got my first sighting of blackened slopes. It looked like about 40-50 acres, all above the Pipeline Trail. I could see isolated firemen up along the fire's edge as well as two separate groups making their way up the lower Pipeline Trail. I went ahead and continued down towards the Incline. The firemen told me the area was closed. I continued down to the upper Cog Parking Lot, which was closed and had been turned into the main staging area for the fire.

At the Barr Trail parking lot there were only six cars. A single yellow "do not cross" tape went across the opening to the Barr Trail. I dropped back down to Ruxton, ran up past my house along the marathon route and joined the Barr Trail. No tape or signage. I ran up to the Incline Bail switchback encountering no one along the way. From the Incline I could see no evidence of the fire. I think that is the only time I have been on the Barr Trail and not seen a soul, excepting once last winter during a snow storm, and last May when Harry and I ran up to Barr Camp and back at night.

Rebekka ran down Ruxton and into town this morning and says they have closed Ruxton at the bottom, allowing only Cog tourists and residents. It is signed that the Barr Trail is closed. Someone at the staging area told me they are going to keep it closed tomorrow too.

Gazette article: Manitou Springs Incline Fire

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