Cause determined in Hogback Fire
MORRISON, Colo. – It didn't take long to find the evidence pointing to what started the fire that whipped up and over the hogback by Dinosaur Ridge on Friday. A power line was visible, severed and down in the scorched earth near the northern edge of the fire across from Matthews Winters Park.
Fire officials said the line, brought down by the wind, lit up the fire in the early afternoon.
"Hopefully they can get it out quick because once it comes over this side, I think some homes are going to be in danger," said Conor Cassidy, who lives in the area. The fire led to pre-evacuation notices for Solterra and Red Rocks Ranch as well as the middle of the Town of Morrison, two miles south. The notices were taken down Friday evening.
The fire was a tough one to fight in raging winds.
"We have had crews hand carrying hose up the steep slope, building what we call a progressive hose path in order to get water up from an engine that's sitting down on the road up the hill to the fire," said Ronda Scholting of West Metro Fire Rescue.
The wind, which was measured nearby at 45 miles an hour and more was a difficult foe.
"It was brutal for firefighters that were up on the ridges trying to fight the fire...trying to find their footing," said Scholting.
Nearby Red Rocks Elementary dismissed early.
"Definitely hope they're keeping an eye on it and I'm glad that they're taking care of the kids and evacuating," said mother Jill Lochen, who had picked up her son. People were stopping by on the east side of the fire to see the smoke pour over the hogback.
"I did want to come up here and just check it out, just I care. If there's any chance that it can cross the highway towards where I live," said Glen Barquez.
But it didn't. Firefighters got onto spot fires on the east side of Dinosaur Ridge before it ran downhill. By early evening, nearly all of the smoke was gone. The fire will be watched by crews overnight.
for more features.