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Teens' large 'junk wood' bonfire causes concern

Jan 24, 2014 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

Firefighters extinguished a bonfire Tuesday evening that was causing some concern for residents north of Riverton.

A woman reported the blaze at about 9 p.m. Tuesday from her home; she said she thought a house was on fire near Hoot Owl Road.

Riverton Volunteer Fire Department chief Mike Hutchison said the flames were coming from a bonfire on 33 Ranch Road, where some teenagers were disposing of pallets and other "junk wood" on their property. The students weren't necessarily doing anything wrong, Hutchison said, but they had chosen a "bad place" to light a fire that reached 15-20 feet into the air.

"It was kind of in the middle of a brush field," he said. "There was an open area, but it wasn't probably quite adequate for the size of fire they had. It could've gotten away from them."

He added that the teenagers didn't have any water on hand to control the blaze, which was not contained within a fire pit. Hutchison said people planning controlled burns should call the Fremont County Emergency Dispatch Center in advance.

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