NewsCovering Colorado


Curtis Road grassfire--another in a string of wildfires

Posted at 10:09 PM, Apr 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-12 00:09:55-04

EL PASO COUNTY — There is a dangerous trend with wildland grassfires in Southern Colorado. They have been happening daily with the recent dry, windy conditions.

“I could smell it I couldn’t see where it was coming from, said Eastern El Paso County resident Gerry Latour,” It wasn’t five minutes later, big bloom of smoke and I cold see it was coming from Curtis Road.” Latour at first evacuated then came back to try and protect his home when he saw his neighbor’s house burning.

The fire along Curtis Road started Sunday evening and burned nearly 40 acres before firefighters stopped it. Investigators said a possible cause is sparks from a trailer with a mechanical failure.

Latour has lived along Curtis road for more than three decades. “This is my third time being evacuated in a little over two years.” Recently grassfires have become too common.

“This summer’s predicted to be dry and warm,” said Pikes Peak Regional Office of Emergency Management, Director, Jim Reid. He said the current string of fires shows why everyone should have a wildfire plan. That includes mitigation to protect property, along with an evacuation plan.

Out on the plains wild grass can grow very tall. “Just keep in mind, if your grass is a foot long, the fire flames are two feet long, so double size,” said Reid. When pushed by wind It is more than enough to start structures on fire. The best prevention is cutting back any tall grass near homes and outbuildings.

Reid said having an evacuation plan in place brings peace of mind. He speaks from experience. He lives not too far from where the fire burned along Curtis Road on Sunday. He received a pre-evacuation notice. “There was no panic, ‘Okay everybody we got pre-evac, you get this dog, I got that dog, you get these things, I’ve got those things, We’re ready to go? Yes.” His family did not have to evacuate, but they were ready with what they had planned in advance to take.