HANOVER — Firefighters believe a wind-damaged power transmission line sparked a grass fire that broke out just before noon Friday. The fire burned an area roughly 15 acres in size in northern Pueblo County near the Midway Ranches subdivision. The fire was fully contained a few hours later.
Battalion Chief Eric Bentley with the Hanover Fire Protection District served as Incident Commander for the fire. He said the wind, which gusted as fast as 50 miles per hour, posed the biggest challenge.
"It was pushing the fire around pretty aggressively," Chief Bentley said.
The flames spread near a home located near the utility easement along East Salt Cedar Road. The building was unoccupied at the time and fire crews were able to protect it from the flames.
However, the wooden pole from the damaged transmission line also caught fire and was still smoldering Friday evening.
"The problem is the integrity of the structure of the power line itself," Chief Bentley explained. "The power line is de-energized according to the electric company. We just don't want to put people close until they can get negative grounds on it and get confirmation that it's safe."
Fire crews will remain at the site overnight to monitor the pole and burn area for any flare-ups. The homeowner whose house was saved will not have electrical service overnight. It is the only known outage reported in connection with the fire.
No evacuations were needed. Bentley credited alert neighbors for helping with the quick response.
"We just appreciate all the phone calls of the people who called it in and got us coming quickly because that helps save some property and lives," he said.
The Hanover district received mutual aid assistance from wildland fire crews from Fountain, Security, Fort Carson, Pueblo County, and Pueblo West.