A 40-acre wildfire burned near U.S. Highway 285 east of Conifer on Thursday afternoon.By 7:30 p.m., the fire was 20 percent contained.Firefighters planned to monitor the fire overnight and continuing their efforts Friday morning at sunrise.A 20-person hand crew from Arizona was expected to be on the fire line on Friday.
How Fire Started
The fire started in grass next to the highway at Meyer Ranch Open Space Park around 2 p.m. and was caused by a truck dragging a chain, according to Elk Creek Fire Administrator Bill Dolan.The fire ignited along southbound Highway 285, about 100 yards east of the historic Meyer Ranch home, which was built in 1889.A single-engine air tanker (SEAT) was called in from the Jefferson County Airport and arrived at 4:10 p.m. to make a water drop. A TYPE 2 helicopter with a water bucket arrived at the fire at 4:30 p.m. and made multiple bucket drops on hot spots.The fire moved up a rugged hill, driven by wind, and there are several houses at the top of the hill. One structure was threatened, Dolan said, and additional evacuations were ordered.
Reverse Notifications Made To Alert Residents
Reverse emergency notifications were made to 62 phone numbers of residents in the area. The 62 numbers do not represent the number of homes called, according to Mark Techmeyer, Jefferson County Sheriff's Office. Some of the numbers include cellphones of local residents who signed up for emergency notifications.Homes were evacuated on Hillview Road, Valley High Road, Bobsled Trail and Fairall Road. Conifer High School was opened to receive the evacuees. The evacuation order was to remain in effect overnight, due to the chance of high winds.Fifty firefighters from six agencies fought the fire on Thursday, according to Dan Hatlestad, Inter-Canyon Fire spokesman.View Meyer Ranch Open Space Fire in a larger map