At approximately 12:41 PM on October 31st, the Wray Fire Department was dispatched to a grass fire in the area of Highway 34 and County Road Z. Brisk winds caused the fire to quickly spread, requiring additional resources to respond from the Wauneta, Yuma, Vernon, Eckley, and Wages Fire Departments. The fire was later named the Robb Fire by the Yuma County Office of Emergency Management.
Deputies from the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office also responded to the area and began to assist in evacuating local residents. The spread of the fire necessitated the temporary closure of Highway 34 and the adjacent railway line.
Even with the mitigation efforts undertaken by the fire units on scene, the fire spread and overtook the Deschamps residence, completely destroying the home and several outbuildings. The Deschamps had been safely evacuated prior to the fire overtaking their home. Multi Mission Aircraft confirmed through aerial mapping efforts that nearly 300 acres of land was destroyed. The Red Cross responded to provide assistance to the Deschamps family. The fire was declared under control at approximately 3:30 PM, and several fire units will be remaining on scene overnight in order to mitigate any flare-ups.
A preliminary investigation into the cause of the fire lead to information suggesting that it may have been accidentally started due to a mechanical issue with an ATV. Investigation into the fire’s origin is still ongoing, but at this time it does not appear to be a criminal issue.
The response to this fire required cooperation and partnership by several agencies and services. Those not previously named that provided assistance are the Yuma County Office of Emergency Management, Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Yuma County Road and Bridge, the Colorado State Patrol, WY Communications Center, Yuma and Wray EMS, Blach Services, Crop Production Services, and Excel Drilling.