Stephens Park Fire • West Vail • August 7, 2009

TIMELINE 911 call reports smoke above Stephens Park (followed by 70-plus 911 calls reporting smoke within the first hour while dispatching emergency responders) 3:41 p.m. 3:44 p.m. Mutual aid call-out to neighboring agencies for structure protection, etc.
This map was created by the Town of Vail GIS Team. Use of this map should be for general purposes only. The Town of Vail does not warrant the accuracy of the information contained herein. (where shown, parcel line work is approximate) Data Sources: USFS, Town of Vail GIS Dept., Eagle County GIS Dept.

Firefighters respond to Stephens Park and establish incident command post 3:48 p.m.

Heavy air tanker requested by U.S. Forest Service, with 2 retardant drops occurring between 6:04 p.m. and 6:09 p.m. 4:21 p.m. Hand crews reach fire and establish fire lines by 5:39 p.m. to secure boundaries of fire 4:25 p.m.

Vail Resorts closes Vail Mountain to all uphill traffic and begins evacuation as a guest-safety precaution and to create a safe flight path for helicopter 4:34 p.m. 5:39 p.m. Spotters indicate good progress in containing fire due to air operations and work of the hand crew
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Vail Mountain evacuation completed 6:21 p.m. 9:27 p.m. Fire containment at 60% with 67 personnel on scene from 14 agencies

August 8 Fire containment at 100% 12:14 p.m.

Stephens Park Fire - August 7, 2009
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Helicopter air operations initiated by Rifle Helitack crew, making 29 drops between 4:28 p.m. and 7:47 p.m.

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What You Should 106°25'30"W Know

The Stephens Park Fire in West Vail triggered a seamless response from multiple agencies who continuously plan and train for such events. Their professionalism and teamwork, along with a little luck, were key to quickly bringing this wildfire under control. Lessons learned from this experience will help us become even better prepared for the future. While the fire disrupted a great afternoon of fun and entertainment on Vail Mountain, the decision to evacuate was based on the safety and security of guests and employees, which will never be compromised.

Our Message to You
The defensible space that surrounds the Town of Vail has proven to be an essential factor in protecting our community. We ask that you help bring those protections even closer to home by contacting us to request a free defensible space evaluation for you and your neighbors. Call us at (970) 477-3509 to make an appointment. We’re grateful for your cooperation and support.

Responding Agencies
Vail Fire & Emergency Services Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit (Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service), including Rifle Helitack crew Grand Junction Air Center Vail Resorts Eagle River Fire Protection District Greater Eagle Fire Protection District Eagle County Emergency Management Vail Communications Center Vail Police Department Eagle County Sheriff’s Office Eagle River Water and Sanitation District Eagle County Ambulance District Salvation Army Town of Vail
A message from your public safety agencies.

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• One-acre in size, fueled by grass and heavy timber with standing dead trees as well as many dead trees that have fallen, creating large amounts of fuel for the fire and difficulty in accessing the area • Located 1,000 ft. above 13 acres of a 180-acre defensible space area created in 2007 and 2008, a little less than 2 miles from Eagle’s Nest on Vail Mountain, and 1,500 ft. from homes in the Highland Meadows neighborhood • 5 to 8 ft. high flames with initial wind gusts of up to 20 mph • No injuries or property damage • Undetermined cause

Eagle's Nest

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