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Oil Well Fire In Bennet Sends Up Plume Of Smoke Seen For Miles

BENNETT, Colo. (CBS4) - A large plume of smoke could been seen for miles on the south side of the Denver metro area Saturday. The smoke reportedly came from a fire at an oil well site near Bennett.

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At 7:46 p.m., the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office tweeted that the fire was under control. A spokeswoman for the department said crews used foam to fight the fire.

According to the Sheriff's Office, equipment was the only thing burning and there was no risk to public safety. They added there were hazardous materials involved and because of that, firefighters did not attack the fire for several hours. The bomb squad responded to the scene to determine whether an explosion was probable.

"This fire can blow up at any time, and they're just very concerned and don't want to go near it at this time," said Ginger Delgado, the Public Information Officer at ACSO.

Sheriff's officials said the closest home is about five miles away.

Crestone Peak Resources said there were about 45 people on the site when the fire started and all have been accounted for. No injuries have been reported.

It's not clear how the fire started. Jason Oates, a spokesman for Crestone, says the site houses pumping equipment and diesel trucks.

Operations are shut down indefinitely, he says.

"We'll have to go through a full review of all of the equipment that is left," Oates said. "There are well heads that are there that obviously needed to be tested, so we'll go through it with the state and ensure that everything is back to a workable condition before we start any more operations."

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Authorities asked the public to stay away from the area as multiple fire agencies and sheriff's deputies responded.

Copter4 was above the fire for a short amount of time until authorities requested it to leave due to threat of large explosions.

Quincy Avenue was closed at Watkins Road, and Watkins Road was closed three miles north of Quincy Avenue. All roads are back open.

Franktown Fire and the Castle Rock Professional Firefighters both tweeted about visible smoke.

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"There is a smoke column visible from Franktown. It is from Bennett. There isn't a fire currently in our District," stated Franktown officials.

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(credit: Castle Rock Professional Firefighters)

"This is actually far outside the town and you do not need to call 911 for it," said Castle Rock Professional Firefighters.

Crestone Peak Resources shared this statement:

At approximately 1:30 p.m. Mountain Time on Saturday, June 5, Crestone Peak Resources received reports of a fire at the State Massive well pad, located near the intersection of Watkins Road and Quincy Avenue in unincorporated Arapahoe County.

No injuries have been reported and all workers who were on the scene at the time the fire began have been accounted for. There are no structures within a mile of the well pad.

The four-well pad was in the early stages of the completions phase when the fire broke out. No information is available at this time as to the cause. First responders are on the scene, assessing the situation from the ground and with overhead drone photography, and establishing a strategy to extinguish the fire. Agencies responding include the Arapahoe County Office of Emergency Management, Arapahoe County Sheriff, Aurora Fire Rescue, Bennet-Watkins Fire Rescue and South Metro Fire Rescue.

Crestone has been advised of road closures in the area of Watkins and Quincy to assist first responders.

Crestone trains regularly for incident response with first responders in the area, and we are grateful for their speedy response. We will provide updates as they become available.

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