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Grass Fire Near DIA May Have Been Caused By Cigarette

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

GALLERIES: COLORADO'S WORST WILDFIRES

GREEN VALLEY RANCH, Colo. (CBS4) – Gusty winds stirred up a grass fire at the Green Valley Ranch Golf Course near Denver International Airport on Sunday.

Firefighters were able to keep the grass fire from coming too close to homes, and it also didn’t burn close to any tees or greens on the course.

Kenny Anderson, the head golf pro at the course, told CBS4 he believes the fire may have started after someone threw a cigarette that was still burning on the ground.

“Some people walking on the trail probably threw a cigarette on the side because there’s some dirt. It looked like they tried to extinguish it,” Anderson said.

The fire grew to about 10 acres in size and burned near the No. 2 fairway hole. Winds were gusting as high as 45 mph while the fire was burning.

“It would hit the cattails and it would just explode up in the air about 10 feet I’d guess,” said Maria Kline, who reported the fire. She said she saw the flames from her parents’ house nearby and was worried it might spread.

Personnel at the golf course had just gotten their sprinkler system operational for the season a few days ago, and on Sunday they turned it on in hopes of slowing the blaze. They set the sprinklers to run through the night in hopes of keeping the fire from starting back up.

Fire crews were able to drive their engines onto the course through a gate in the neighborhood.

Anderson said he’s glad there’s a fire station right nearby and that crews were able to respond quickly.

“We could see the flames from the golf shop before the fire guys were out here,” Anderson said.

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