JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Extremely dry conditions in the foothills on Sunday fueled a 5 acre wildfire off of Highway 286 in Jefferson County.
The blaze burned close to several surrounding homes and triggered a small evacuation by the Elk Creek Fire Department.
“It’s a little crazy. We have all been concerned. The joke around the fire department is to make sure your wildland gear is in shape even though it’s January and February,” said Scott Aaronson, assistant Chief of the Elk Creek Fire Department.
“We have a fire that stayed mostly in low grass fuels though it’s very dry, so it spread quickly,” added Aaronson.
John Johnson’s home was just a few hundred feet from the fire line.
“The wind was in the right direction. The fact that we were pre-burned and that there were already firefighters on the scene took a lot of the edge off,” he said.
Charred trees from the High Meadow Fire in 2000 still stand 40 feet from his home.
Fire crews parked their trucks on Johnson’s property in order to reach the fire as it climbed the hillside.
Fire crews were able to bring the blaze under control in under two hours. No trees or structures were damaged.
“I’ve been with the organization 12 years and this is by far the earliest we have seen this kind of condition. It’s going got be a rough year I’m afraid,” Aaronson said.
The fire danger across Colorado’s Front Range on Sunday was listed as moderate by the U.S. Forest Service. The rest of the state mostly had fire danger listed at the “low” level.
- Written by Nina Sparano for CBSDenver.com