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Fort Collins wildfire likely caused by cigarette butt, investigators say

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Posted at 11:43 AM, Feb 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-12 13:46:42-05

FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- Investigators say a wind-driven wildfire that consumed more than 100 acres of dry grass and cattails Friday afternoon was likely caused by a cigarette butt carelessly tossed from a moving car.

Poudre Fire Authority officials said the blaze began about a third of a mile east of Timberline Road just north of Carpenter Road, near the South Fort Collins wastewater treatment plant.

Winds then drove the fire northeastward toward Fossil Creek Farms.

As it moved into deeper, drier fuels, a wall of flames rose about 40 to 50 feet in the air.

Fire officials say there was some damage to farm equipment and power poles. One homeowner reported a power outage, they said.

Timberline Road acted as a fire stop on the west side.

Fire crews worked through the night to extinguish hot spots and to keep the fire from flaring up again.

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