The Lime Creek fire burned 26,000 acres in 1879, which was a major drought year. The fire burned an area of the San Juan Mountains between Molas Pass and Coal Creek Pass, located along U.S. 550. The Ute Native Americans were blamed for the fire, which they supposedly lit for being pushed out of Colorado.
Since the area had been a drought, there were other fires that year. According to records, 1879 had less than half of the normal annual rainfall of the year, making it one of the driest years on record.
Historical Marker Inscription
This man-caused forest fire burned 26,000 acres consuming approximately 150,000,000 board-feet of timber. Reforestation by direct seeding and planting of seedling trees was started in 1911 and continues today.
The project was financed by federal funds and contributions from the conservation-minded Colorado Federation of Women’s Clubs.
U.S. 550, CO 81433 United States (near the Post Office)
37° 42′ 54.960″ N, 107° 45′ 16.920″ W