Wildland safety reminders close to home
Roadside wildland fires pose a high risk in Douglas County. Although the cause is often times accidental from vehicles, the dry conditions cause the flames to spread quickly, sometimes endangering structures. Once a fire is extinguished, crews stay and ensure all the hot spots are contained, sometimes lasting several hours.
Information and photos provided by South Metro Fire Rescue
On July 3, a fire was reported along the southbound lanes of I-25 near the Oak Hill Lane underpass. Upon arrival, South Metro Fire Rescue (SMFR) firefighters discovered three separate fires burning.
The smallest two fires were very quickly extinguished; the larger and southern most fire posed the greatest threat and took more time to contain, according to SMFR Public Information Officer Eric Hurst.
“Firefighters aggressively worked to prevent the fire from spreading west over the hill toward homes and their efforts were successful.” Within a half hour, the incident was declared “under control” although the last unit didn’t leave the scene for another two hours after all the hot spots were extinguished.
A total of 23 personnel were called to the incident. Fire investigators were unable to determine a cause, but thankfully there was no indication or evidence of fireworks. Hurst noted that similar fires have occurred along roadways when catalytic converters break apart inside a vehicle and their pieces are discharged through the exhaust pipe at high temperatures.
Regardless of how it started, quick action prevented the fire from spreading.
To learn more about how wildland fires spread and what to do in case of one near your neighborhood, visit www.southmetro.org/.