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Snow Creek Fire 95% contained in Jefferson County

Crews are expected to complete mop-up operations on Friday for the fire in the area of Hwy. 285 and Hwy. 8 near Mt. Lindo.

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colorado — Crews responded to a brush fire in Jefferson County on Tuesday – naming it the Snow Creek Fire – in the area of Hwy. 285 and Hwy. 8 near Mt. Lindo, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office (JCSO). 

The fire was in rocky terrain, slowly burning grass, brush and trees, West Metro Fire Rescue (WMFR) said. Multiple fire departments responded.

The fire was in an area that is difficult to access, so three crews of firefighters were hiking in with hand tools and digging out a fire line to surround the fire on Tuesday. There were also two helicopters and two SEAT plans dropping water on the flames.

WMFR said Tuesday night that the fire was estimated to be about an acre in size. On Thursday, WMFR said it was estimated to be 95% contained.

There were 35 firefighters working on containment and mop-up operations Wednesday that included digging lines, clearing out debris, checking for hotspots and cutting down burned vegetation.

Mop-up operations continued on Thursday, which included infrared mapping from the state's multi-mission aircraft to locate hotspots not visible to the naked eye. Crews were forced off the ridge due to incoming weather Thursday afternoon, but WMFR said crews should finish up mop-up operations on Friday.

A mandatory evacuation was issued for one home on Mt. Lindo and the tip of Williow Springs, with 60 more homes in Willow Springs on pre-evacuation notice.

“I was in the basement, I didn’t even know that there was a fire," said Mia Hanson, who was dog sitting in the neighborhood near the fire. “The homeowner had called me and asked if I had gotten evacuated – I didn’t even know what she was talking about. I went outside talked to the neighbors and they said the police recommended we evacuate.”

Hanson was able to get the two dogs out of the home and evacuated them to the parking lot of The Fort restaurant across Highway 285. 

“We’re in a dry state, fires happen a lot but just to see it so close – it’s scary," she said, adding that the event has raised her awareness of how prepared one should be for evacuating a fire. 

When the fire initially started, crews conducted door-to-door evacuations in the area, but no structures were immediately threatened.

"There is a need to make sure we're balancing what we're throwing at it – all of the resources – the things that we're ordering – the air support – that it makes sense because everything costs money. But at this point it's really important to send too many guys, to send too many trucks..." said Jacki Kelley, a spokesperson for the JCSO.  

She added that they've been using a lot of resources on smaller fires this year to keep them small.

While it's a strategy used for the last few years, she believes there's a heightened awareness of fires since the Marshall Fire happened at the end of 2021. 

"There are so many values at risk here meaning people's homes, people's properties and people's lives," said Ronda Scholting, a spokesperson for WMFR, who shared a similar sentiment. "As many firefighters as we can put on this, we call our wildland team – if they're off today they come in."

Hwy. 8, Snow Creek Lane and Tiger Bend Lane are closed, the sheriff's office said.

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