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Rumors of containment are greatly exaggerated

Firefighters had not achieved any containment of the 2017 Lightner Creek Fire as of 3 p.m. Thursday.

Sometimes history repeats itself, and when it does, that can be confusing.

That’s what appears to have happened Thursday when some residents thought the Lightner Creek Fire was 40 percent contained.

After all, that’s what La Plata County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Dan Bender was cited as saying in the lead paragraph of a story published on www.durangoherald.com.

The only problem: The story was published five years ago, almost to the day, about a different Lightner Creek Fire.

Readers apparently came across the old story and didn’t realize it was published in 2012. The Lightner Creek Fire of June 2012 burned 85 acres, which triggered pre-evacuations and necessitated 90 firefighters and air support.

The Lightner Creek Fire of 2017 has burned 300 acres, forced the evacuation of 170 homes and prompted Gov. John Hickenlooper to declare a disaster emergency. It was zero percent contained as of 3 p.m. Thursday and 20 percent as of 6 p.m.

And we can quote Bender on that.


Jun 29, 2017
Lightner Creek Fire 20 percent contained as spread stalls
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