Firefighters battle grass fires as Colorado Springs, Denver hit record highs – Colorado Springs Gazette
Record-high temperatures Sunday ushered in summerlike weather and also increased fire danger along the Front Range, where El Paso County fire crews battled two small grass fires.
The thermometer hit 74 degrees briefly in Colorado Springs, breaking the record of 73 for March 15 set two years ago, according to the National Weather Service. Denver also broke its 2-year-old record of 76 degrees when the thermometer hit 79 on Sunday.
The weather service issued a red flag warning for eastern Colorado, meaning that fire danger would be high with winds, heat and low humidity. Northern Colorado felt the heat as well, when a grass fire north of Fort Collins shut down the southbound lanes of Interstate 25 shortly after 2 p.m. for a couple of hours, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation.
Meanwhile, multiple El Paso County fire crews, including from Hanover and Colorado Springs, worked to extinguished two small fires, one of which ignited behind the Pikes Peak International Raceway. Colorado Springs firefighters also responded to a small fire near Platte Avenue and Wooten Road, which was quickly extinguished.
The fire behind the raceway, named the Donner Pass fire, spread to about 117 acres and was 80 percent contained as of 7 p.m. Sunday, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office said. Hanover Fire Department Deputy Chief Kevin Junglen said the fire began on a nonresidential piece of property, home to a makeshift shooting range, although its cause remains under investigation.
The fire burned rapidly through dry grasses, sometimes flaring up in flames 15 feet high as it worked its way over a ridge and across a valley toward the Ray Nixon Power Plant. The fire was being held a mile from the power plant, run by Colorado Springs Utilities, and was not a threat to the plant, Junglen said. Crews from Fort Carson, El Paso County, Colorado Springs Utilities and Fountain worked to contain the fire.
The heat and low humidity – at 7 percent – helped fuel the flames, and would likely keep crews working the small blaze until well after dark, when the humidity is expected to rise, Junglen added.
Just before 5 p.m., crews were … – Click Here To Visit Article Source