Arsonist could be igniting grass fires in Castle Rock, firefighters asking community to be vigilant

Posted at 4:21 PM, Sep 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-24 20:36:54-04

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. -- A series of small fires in different parts of Castle Rock has the city's fire chief on edge.

"All the evidence points to them being intentional," said Chief Art Morales. "It's something that's really dangerous to our community."

The first fire sparked in some mulch in a neighborhood park on Aug.  8.

On Sept. 9, four small fires sparked within ten minutes of each other along Plum Creek trail between the Meadows Parkway bridge and 5th Street, according to Chief Morales.

The latest fire was the biggest, burning a few acres dangerously close to homes off Oman Road and Gilbert Street.

"We were 15 seconds away from a catastrophe," said Chief Morales. "When it gets to that point, I want to get the community involved and paying attention."

Fire investigators ended up finding a lighter on the ground near the ignition point of the Oman Road fire.

Denver7 talked with a Castle Rock couple who walks Plum Creek trail frequently. They were out and about during the Sept. 9 fires and watched as police and fire crews drove down to the trail.

"We thought they were just looking for who-knows-what," said Mike Schrank. "I guess they had a reason...for those fires."

Chief Morales said the small trail fires were all on the same side, indicating someone may have gone by on a bike lighting the grass along the way.

"Nowadays people will do anything," said Sandra Schrank. "I think it's good to get the word out to help catch this guy."
Authorities are asking the public to be on the lookout for anything suspicious around the city. Fire danger remains high and a small fire could explode into something much bigger in an instant.


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