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Firefighters Responding To The West Ranch Fire In Jefferson County

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) - A wildfire is currently burning in Jefferson County near Morrison. Images from a CBS4 camera captures a big billow of smoke coming from the area near C-470 and Ken Caryl. Firefighters are calling this the West Ranch Fire.

"Conditions were ripe with low humidity and high winds and really an intense amount of sunshine heating up those fuels," said Dan Hatlestead, spokesman for ICFPD.

west ranch fire 1 (inter canyon fire)
(credit: Inter-Canyon Fire Protection District)

The fire is about six acres in size. More than 30 firefighters are on the ground with 20 apparatus. A small crew will continue fighting the fire through the night and the rest will return first thing in the morning, fire officials said.

"The #westranchfire is creeping through brush pushed by erratic winds at 10-15 mph," said the Inter-Canyon Fire Protection District on social media.

470 KenCaryl Fire Tech CTR Cam_frame_6351
(credit: CBS)

Fire officials tell CBS4 the fire is closer to some structures in the West Ranch community than previously thought, however, there are no pre-evacuations at this time. There are about 80 homes in the community.

No structures are threatened at this time, officials said.

"The fire would have to grow considerably to threaten other areas," Hatlestad said. "If the fire did continue to grow we would work with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and ensure that we did evacuate those areas as needed, but at this time we're not expecting any evacuations for any additional areas."

Images from Copter4 show the fire line cresting a ridge in the area.

west ranch fire copter
(credit: CBS)

"The terrain is really rocky and steep, so firefighters have to hike their way in just to gain access to the fire. There is no direct trail access to all the areas of the fire so that's a concern, so we're very concerned as it grows darker that our firefighters could be injured in that rocky terrain. The brush grabs onto our firefighters and makes it very difficult to work in the growing darkness," Hatlestead said.

He adds the cooler temperatures moving in are helping slow the fire down. There was also some light snow in the area Sunday evening, however CBS4 Meteorologist believes this was coming from nearby peaks and not a storm overhead.

west ranch fire copter (1)
(credit: CBS)

CBS4 viewer Kristen Kidd shared video of the smoke seen from her home near Ken Caryl.


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