Rodents Ignite Brush Fire in Colorado After Chewing Through Electrical Wires

by Lauren Boisvert

In Colorado, rodents chewing on wires from an electrical box ignited a brush fire early on the morning of Sept. 21. The fire started in Waterton Canyon, according to West Metro Fire Rescue in a Facebook post. Both West Metro and South Metro fire crews were on the scene.

“The fire burned about half an acre near the Strontia Springs Dam on a steep and rugged slope,” the post explained. “Crews were able to quickly slow the fire’s progress, thanks in part to high humidity overnight.” According to West Metro, rodents chewed through electrical wires nearby, which “shorted out the system, causing arcing and sparking, igniting the dry grass.”

The post further explained the crews’ process of getting water up the slope of the canyon to the brush fire. “Firefighters built a hose line to get water up slope from the engine to the fire,” they described, “while digging a fire line around the perimeter. Crews are now working on hot spots within the fire area.”

All in all, the fire was eventually contained, no one was injured, and no structures were threatened. The Facebook post included photos of the scene as well.

Colorado Crews Extinguish Brush Fire, While in California the Mosquito Fire Rages

California’s Mosquito Fire has now been named the state’s largest wildfire, as it recently surpassed 76,000 acres. Tens of thousands of residents 110 miles northeast of San Fransisco have had to evacuate. The fire is burning through El Dorado and Placer counties and has destroyed 78 structures. There have been no confirmed deaths or injuries as of Sept. 21. Currently, the fire sits at 49% contained.

The Mosquito Fire broke out on Sept. 6, with the cause still under investigation. Winds over the weekend complicated containment efforts. But, cooler, wetter weather through Wednesday is expected to cause a “speed bump” in the fire’s spread. Rain over the past week has aided in keeping the fire “in its footprint,” according to a Cal Fire update. Because of this, evacuation orders for El Dorado and Placer counties have been lifted.

Fire crews are scouting for hot spots on the southern and western sides of the fire. On the northern side, crews are currently holding the fireline and strengthening others in case of further activity. As for Thursday’s weather, Cal Fire predicts warm temperatures, lower humidity, and light winds. This could potentially cause the fire to spread again.

Previously, California’s McKinney Fire, which started in July, was the largest in the state, sitting at over 60,000 acres burned. As of five days ago, it is 99% contained. Unfortunately, four people perished in the fire, which burned through the Klamath River community in Siskiyou County. The US Forest Service is still investigating McKinney, but a recent lawsuit claims that utility infrastructure initially ignited the massive blaze.