Weld County grass fire blamed on trash burning

Posted at 12:46 PM, Feb 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-18 22:57:56-05

High winds and a homeowner burning trash are being blamed for an out of control wildfire that consumed an estimated 4,000 acres in northern Weld County Thursday.

The homeowner told Denver7 that she started burning trash before the winds picked up.  She said once they started blowing, the flames spread to her barn.

“It was filled with hay,” she said.

From Airtracker 7, firefighters could be seen spraying water on the smoldering hay. Chief Steve Pixley, of the Pawnee Fire Protection District, said it was a total loss.

When asked what it was like having to fight a blaze in this kind of wind, Pixley said, “Terrible.  It was flaring back up on us, but we had enough trucks on the scene that we got it put out.”

Property owner burning trash accidentally ignites large fire in northern Weld County.

— Lance Hernandez (@lancehernandez7) February 18, 2016

Pixley said crews from Laramie County, Carpenter, Burns and Pine Bluffs, Wyoming joined crews from Briggsdale, Nunn, New Raymer and the Pawnee FPD to battle the blaze.

In addition to the property owner’s barn, several fences were damaged, but no other structures were lost.

The property owner told Denver7 she felt bad that the trash fire spread out of control.

“We’re all good,” said an adjacent property owner Thursday night.

The fire burned an area east of Weld County Road 75 north of Weld County Road 128.  That near the Denkai Animal Sanctuary, about 10 miles northwest of Grover.

“Water was big issue when we first got on scene,” Pixley said. “As other units arrived, it was no longer an issue.”

The Weld County Sheriff's Office said the fire was initially reported as a grass fire that started around 10:30 a.m.  The fire damaged at least one structure.

Structure burned in Weld CO. is an out building.

— Melissa Krol (@DenverNewsie) February 18, 2016

Pixley said there were no injuries and added that this is why property owners should check the forecast before burning trash.

“This wind was predicted,” he said.


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