The investigation into an explosive grass fire Sunday afternoon northwest of Denver is under way, and the preliminary results show that the fire may have started from a bad ground wire on a telephone pole.
The fire broke out around 2 p.m. near Highways 128 and 93, in the vicinity of Rocky Flats. The fire started in Boulder County, and quickly spread into nearby Jefferson and Broomfield counties.
The fire was fueled by sustained northwest winds of 30 mph, with gusts up to 60 mph. Within minutes, the flames grew to hundreds of acres, jumped Indiana Street and moved toward the suburbs of Westminster and Broomfield.
The fire prompted officials to evacuate 135 homes, affecting over 3,000 residents of the Walnut Creek subdivision in Broomfield just after 3 pm. Evacuees were sent to the West View Recreation Center in Westminster, where the American Red Cross was stationed.
Numerous roads were closed in the vicinity of the fire, including Indiana and Simms.
Just before 5 pm, the evacuation order was lifted and residents were allowed back home. All roads in the fire zone were reopened as of 6 pm.
At last report, the fire had consumed over 1,600 acres and was 100 percent contained. Crews were mopping up hotspots near the center of the fire.
No structures were lost thanks to the quick action of firefighters.
During the height of the fire, an air tanker was called in from Albuquerque, N.M. to help fight the flames as a precaution.
The fire did not disrupt operations of the Jefferson County airport.
Firefighters battled two other fires in the Front Range on Sunday, both fueled by dry and windy weather conditions.
One fire 20 miles west of Fort Collins burned an acre of land just before noon before being contained by firefighters from Loveland.
A second fire was reported near Sun Valley Drive on the east side of Woodland Park, west of Colorado Springs, just after 1:30 pm.
The flames threatened several structures, with one house reported destroyed. Six crews were called in to fight the five acre fire, which was fully contained by 2:30 p.m. on Sunday.
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