Cherokee Ranch Fire in Douglas County, Colorado

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Units from numerous agencies fought a fire that grew to almost 1000 acres in Central Douglas County on Wednesday, October 29. The fire began around 1230-1pm in an open space area in Central Douglas County, to the east of Sedalia and to the north of Castle Rock. Weather conditions were extremely conducive for rapid fire growth, with a temperature of 80 degrees, rh of 8-10%, and winds of 20-30 gusting 40. A Red Flag Fire Warning was in place at the time of the fire. Another fire in Boulder County grew to 5,000 acres at the same time the Douglas County fire was burning.

South Metro Fire, West Douglas Fire, and Littleton Fire responded to the initial call, but many additional agencies and resources were quickly brought in, both for structure protection units and wild land units. Contractors brought in graders, scrapers, and water, while Douglas County Public Works dispatched numerous water tankers as well. The high winds resulted in the fire rapidly growing, and moving into a developed area with large homes, some valued at over 1 million dollars. The fire was just north of the Castle Pines country club, home to the International Golf tournament each year. Over 3000 residents were evacuated, which was more persons evacuated than the Hayman Fire of last year.

Firefighters were able to hold the line as the fire advanced into the housing area, and a cold front brought much higher relative humidity's and colder temperatures around 830pm. Overnight temperatures dropped into the upper 20s with max rh values in the 90-96% range as well, and fog and light drizzle formed, helping contain the fire. No further spread was anticipated on Thursday.

The images show several shots from the west edge of the fire during the early afternoon, then shots with the South Metro and Littleton fire crews on the east edge of the fire as fire crews halted the advance, and saved homes threatened by the fire.

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