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Large grass fire near Wiggins declared out

The Morgan County Sheriff's Office said local farmers and ranchers helped with the response by using their equipment to dig lines around the fire.

MORGAN COUNTY, Colorado — Crews have extinguished a lighting-sparked grass fire near Wiggins that prompted evacuations Friday night and grew to more than 3,000 acres, according to the Morgan County Sheriff's Office (MCSO).

 Morgan County Sheriff Dave Martin said the Bijou Creek Fire started around 9:30 p.m. and progressed rapidly. Seven fire agencies from Morgan and Weld counties responded to fight it.

The sheriff's office sent out an alert Friday night warning residents of the fast-moving fire and telling them to be prepared to evacuate.

MCSO said on their Facebook page late Friday night that rain had helped to control the fire, located between Road 8 and Road 12 south of Road Q. 

Credit: Ray Sparkles

The sheriff's office said firefighters were mopping up hot spots and announced that evacuated residents could return to their homes.

One subdivision was evacuated for about two hours, Martin said.

But early Saturday afternoon, Martin said, the fire "blew back up" in the summer heat.

The National Weather Service (NWS) tweeted that satellite imagery showed smoke developing and moving slowly westward. 

In another tweet, NWS said the shortwave infrared satellite was picking up heat from the fire.

Seven local fire agencies and the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control responded, Martin said, and a large aerial tanker was called in to help put it out.

Several farmers and ranchers also helped with the response, according to Martin, using farm equipment and bulldozers to dig lines around the fire.

Martin said the fire was declared out at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

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