KIOWA, Colo. (CBS4) – Elbert, Douglas, and Arapahoe County fire agencies responded to a brush fire burning about four miles south of Kiowa Saturday morning.
The Forest Ridge Fire is now 100 percent contained according to the Franktown Fire Department. It burned four homes, five outbuildings and approximately 375 acres.
Evacuations have been lifted for all residents previously in the evacuation zone. Officials those residents will stay under a pre-evacuation notice just in case of the fire flares up again.
All roads are also open and residents were able to return home before sunset. There are no known injuries to people or livestock.
“Seven horses, two goats, a chicken and four dogs,” said Michelle Warren, who moved to Elbert County just five months earlier.
Her husband plowed a line in the dirt outside their home to keep flames from creeping onto their property.
“It was scary,” Warren said. “The wind was blowing and (crews) didn’t have the fire contained at all at that point.”
A Red Cross disaster action team along with volunteers from the community sheltered dozens of animals and some of their owners at the Elbert County Fairgrounds.
“It’s a real tight knit community. It just takes a few phone calls and everybody knows. We spread the word fast,” said Greg Dieker, a volunteer.
“We just want to thank everybody who came out,” Warren added. “I mean, they’ve done a fantastic job.”
The agency encourages those who have lost property in the Forest Ridge Fire to reach out to the American Red Cross for assistance with immediate needs.
PHOTO GALLERY: Forest Ridge Fire
CBS4 YouReporter Bill Coxsey lives north of the fire by several miles and sent in photos of the column of smoke visible from his residence before noon.
Half an hour later, photos from Josh Baker showed the fire’s increased activity.
A Red Flag Warning is in effect for all of eastern Colorado until Sunday night. Another such warning is likely Monday. Winds are expected to increase.
The cause of the fire is currently under investigation, but appears to be accidental in nature.
Elbert County officials say the community showed their grace, as many communities have, in this time of crisis.
“Despite this tragedy, the Elbert County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the community for their support and willingness to jump in and help in this situation. Numerous pickup trucks and livestock trailers show up and staged along County Road 45, ready to assist in the relocation of animals from the properties. Other community members dropped off food and cases of water and sports drinks for the first responders working the incident,” the sheriff’s office said.