‘Very high’ fire danger led to fast-moving blaze near Highlands Ranch

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (KDVR) — Monday’s backcountry fire in Douglas County started just east of Highway 85 on the southern edge of Highlands Ranch. The flames moved northeast toward a subdivision of more than 900 homes.

An electrical malfunction on a power pole is believed to be the cause of the fire, officials said.

Eight aircraft were used to protect the homes from damage and destruction.

“Conditions, today, are considered in the very high category,” said South Metro Fire Rescue spokesperson Eric Hurst.

Dry brush and gusty winds produced the fast-moving fire that advanced up hills and scarred 461 acres.

“With the wind that we were dealing with, it had a neighborhood right in its path,” Hurst said. “We wanted to take that [evacuation] action early and give people a chance to leave.”

The fire was fully contained by late afternoon. Residents were allowed to return to their homes by early evening.

Firefighters are focused on the center of the burn scar where hot spots exist. The area will be monitored throughout Monday night and during the day on Tuesday.

Hurst said a similar fire burned the same area in October 2016. 

On June 12, 2020, more than three acres burned in the Highlands Ranch area due to fireworks, according to South Metro Fire Rescue.