At about 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 18, fire crews responded to a call that the Deer Leap area of the Green Mountain National forest in Killington was on fire. Patty McGrath, owner of the Inn at Long Trail, essentially at the gateway of the popular hiking trail posted the news on Facebook on Sept. 19 around noon.
“Some fool set a campfire yesterday (or night before) on Deer Leap. Then made the matter worse by leaving without making sure it is completely out. Now there is a mostly under control but active forest fire.”
While it is yet to be officially determined who or exactly what set the fire, it is very likely to be human caused. Recent drought conditions made things more dangerous. McGrath also posted the following reminders.
“#1 – Fires are NOT permitted in National forest-save designated areas, which BTW are also currently prohibited, like at shelters on the trail, due to dry conditions.
#2 – the most dangerous part of this is that the fire is IN THE GROUND. Yes you read that correctly, once the compacted dead leaves and debris (which can be up to 1 foot deep) catch to a smoldering fire it is very difficult to put out. Firebreaks are required which means DIGGING ditches in forrest until getting to the layers that are rock, stone and actual dirt only.”
Crews from around the region worked to contain and fight the fire, which McGrath reported at 4 p.m. should be “completely under control soon.”