Brush fire comes close to homes in Parker

Posted at 3:57 PM, Oct 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-14 00:42:25-04

PARKER, Colo. -- It was a close call for homeowners in Parker Thursday afternoon after a fast-moving brush fire came within feet of homes on Raintree Circle.

South Metro Fire crews finally got a handle on the 30-acre fire that charred a hillside near Pradera Parkway and North Crowfoot Valley Road around 4:30 p.m.

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office evacuated residents on the street near the fire. No structures were lost. Authorities had blocked off streets in the area so crews could move closer to the scene.

Investigators believe crews working on a driveway gate accidently sparked the fire.

"Being a typical guy, I was blowing it off saying it can't be that close, but as we drove closer and closer, I realized it was literally the hill behind our house," said resident Brian Fruhwirth. "In some spots it burned right to the fence line, in other spots it was a foot or two off, there's still smoldering areas up there as we're speaking right now."

Brian and his daughter Lindsey were in the car when they got a call from mom about a fire in their neighborhood.

"I was really panicked coming here. I was so scared," said Lindsey.                                               

They rushed home to get to their Cocker-Springer mix, Cappy. When they got to their home, they found firefighters putting out hot spots near their back fence.

"I guess the good news out of this situation is, I won't have to mow that next year because it's already burned," said Brian.

"Even though it's October, a lot of residents seem to think that that means fire season is over, and it's not," said South Metro Fire Risk Reduction Specialist Einar Jensen. "Oh, it's October 13th? Get out of here. Until this year, for South Metro, we had more wildfires October to March, than we did April to September."

Jensen said wildfire is a real concern year round as long as there is no snow on the ground.

"Just because it seems like fall, doesn't mean the wildfire season is over," said Jensen. "All it takes is that one little spark, plus fuel, which is the dry grass, plus our oxygen rich planet. Heat, fuel, oxygen, (the) fire triangle comes together and we have wildfire."

And it's not just in Parker. Jensen the 70-mile stretch of the Highline Canal from Aurora to Littleton, as an area that could have fall wildfire concerns.

"There is tough access on the Highline Canal, so that's why we're truly looking for that quick 911 call," said Jensen.

He also said homes that border Cherry Creek State Park along Jordan Road need to be aware.

"A lot of our residents live around Cherry Creek State Park, where the fuel is just like this," said Jensen, referencing crunchy dry brush. "Cherry Creek State Park has done a good job, they've done a significant mow strip along the fence line. Regardless of how much our home is worth, regardless of who we vote for, it doesn't matter, because it's wildfire."


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