Wildfires continue to loom across the West in a path of total devastation and destruction. From Washington to California, and even Minnesota, it’s hard to fathom an end. Scenes of billowing smoke, raining ash, and orphaned baby animals are enough to elicit an emotional reaction in anyone. In a close call, Colorado joins the list of victims to fire in a situation that wreaked plenty of havoc, but could have been much, much worse. The incident in question took place Tuesday afternoon in the city of Colorado Springs.
Colorado Springs really made its mark on the map when it became the home of the United States Air Force Academy back in 1958. The city also hosts 24 national sports governing bodies. They include the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee as well as the United States Olympic Training Center, USA Swimming, and USA Hockey. The fact of the matter is that all these places and the whole of the city could have gone up in flames yesterday– and all because of a couple sparks from a lawnmower.
Lawnmowers and Fire Safety
A Good Samaritan called in reports of smoke to West Woodmen Road and Cedar Valley Lane in the Colorado Springs neighborhood of Peregrine. Firefighters responded immediately to the call, even requesting backup from a nearby station. And all because of a couple pesky sparks from a lawnmower, allegedly. It’s a good reminder to avoid mowing in hot, dry, and windy weather whenever possible. At this time the owner’s information has not been released and it’s unclear whether they will face any charges. The most important thing is that nobody got hurt.
The fire managed to spread to and burn through 3 acres before finally succumbing to the firehose. For reference, this is about the same length as 3 football fields. Luckily, firefighters reported no structural losses. Essentially, Colorado Springs got lucky. The firefighters just so happened to be at a site 2 miles from the fire surveying the area in prevention efforts. Captain Gabriel Blanco with the Colorado Springs Fire Department talked to KKTV11 about the unlikely coincidence.
“They were at the Air Force Academy doing a size up of the area, the water supply up there, and they were having the same discussion of, ‘Boy, this is an area that seems like it has a real high likelihood of something happening.’”
He went on to describe how the concerned witnesses probably saved the day.
“The good thing is we did have a lot of people call in. So the multiple calls did help us out getting resources there as quickly as possible. The other thing was our proximity to the fire. Station 18 is right here on Centennial and Station 12 is right on Rockrimmon.”
You can watch KKTV11’s video of the scene here.