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January 22, 2022
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UnionActive IAFF Newswire
Douglas County Brush Fires
Posted On: Dec 22, 2021
Around 7:15 p.m. on Saturday December 18, 2021, South Metro began receiving multiple calls for grass fires occurring at fireworks shows in Douglas County. Initially there were 4 brush fires reported, but 2 of those were callers reporting the same fire.
As with every fireworks event in SMFR’s district, the South Metro Fire Marshal’s Office conducts numerous site visits at the fireworks locations and requires specific steps be taken in order to mitigate as much risk as possible prior to the day of the shows. South Metro also staffs the events with extra suppression resources for safety purposes in case fires start from the fireworks being set off.
Due to dry and windy conditions, spot fires began to ignite at the Highlands Ranch fireworks show located near Griggs Road and the Parker show located near Rueter-Hess Reservoir. More fire resources were brought to each scene, including wildland brush trucks and water tenders, in order to gain control of the fire conditions spreading quickly. The spot fires in Highlands Ranch began growing closer to a nearby neighborhood, but firefighters were able to get them under control before they threatened any homes or other structures. The fire in Parker did not threaten any structures. Firefighters remained on scene into the later evening hours on Saturday at each location to be sure the fires were under control and fully extinguished.
Each fireworks display was immediately stopped once fires began to form so that firefighting efforts could ensue. After fires were extinguished, and while firefighters were still on scene, the decision was made to restart the fireworks display at Highlands Ranch (as originally planned). Following the conclusion of the Highlands Ranch display, 5 shells were found to have not fired. As is common practice, these shells were rewired and fired to remove any remaining risk.
Due to the number of shells remaining at the Parker site, and in consideration of the risk involved in continuing the display, the decision was made to secure all remaining shells overnight and then repackage them for safe transport back to a secure location Sunday morning. A thorough inspection was also conducted at each location Sunday morning to ensure all hazardous components were properly removed from the sites.
Fire investigators determined that both fires in Parker and Highlands Ranch were started from fireworks. The Parker fire is estimated to have burned 6-8 acres. The Highlands Ranch fire was made up of multiple spot fires, so the full size has not been determined yet. Thank you to West Douglas County Fire Protection District and Douglas County Sheriff's Office for your support on these incidents.

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