MORGAN/WELD COUNTIES, Colo. (CBS4) – A section of U.S. 34 from Weld County to Morgan County was closed in both directions on Sunday afternoon due to a brush fire. Smoke from the fire caused visibility troubles.
The Colorado Department of Transportation says the road was reopened at around 5:30 p.m.
Wiggins Fire officials tell CBS4 the fire is about 40 acres in size, but it is contained. They add three abandoned farmhouses were destroyed, but those structures hadn’t been used in years.
Wiggins Police report there are multiple crashes on the road. The fire is burning north of Empire Reservoir, near Weld County Road 144.
Fire officials say a blown transformer could be the cause of the fire, however they are still investigating. At least one home was evacuated while firefighters responded to the scene.
“It went from we could see it in the back window to you couldn’t see two feet ahead of you because of the smoke,” said Brent Galloway, who evacuated his home. “At that time it was around the back and the front yard and we pretty much drove through fire to get out the driveway.”
Wind and dry conditions are complicating firefighting efforts. Firefighters tell CBS4 the fire moved close to 100 feet per minute at before it was contained.
“We had great precipitation early season last year, so the fuel buildup is tremendous,” said Travis Bailey, a firefighter with Wiggins Fire. “If we don’t get any moisture coming up, and we continue to have these hot, dry, windy days, it will be significant fire potential.”
Further details about the fire have not been confirmed.