JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colorado — Rattlesnake Gulch Trail at Deer Creek Canyon Park reopened Se[t. 10, almost a month after an Aug. 15 wildfire closed the Deer Creek Canyon Park area, Jeffco Open Space said on its Facebook page.
"Our Natural Resources Team has been able to stabilize the surrounding soils and complete their assessments of the affected area," Jeffco Open Space said on Facebook. "Some areas are already beginning to see signs of growth, while others that were more impacted by the intensity of the fire, will need some assistance. It is especially important that visitors stay on trail."
Firefighters now believe the fire near the park that led to hundreds of evacuations was human-caused.
"We've talked with witnesses," Jefferson County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Mike Taplin said. "The witnesses have heard explosions. They saw smoke and then some witnesses have seen two juvenile males running from the area."
More than 100 firefighters worked throughout the night — until about 2 a.m — to knock out flames from the 13.5-acre fire, Jefferson County Sheriff's Office Taplin said during a media briefing Friday morning.
So far, no injuries have been reported and no structures have been lost, Taplin said. Firefighters worked Friday to improve the perimeter of the fire line and attack hot spots within the burn area.
CodeRed evacuation notices were sent to 314 homes in the area when the fire started. Homes in the White Deer Valley and Deer Creek Mesa neighborhoods were affected, as well as the area near Samson Road, Mill Hollow Road and Sunburst and Hunter's Ridge neighborhoods.
The investigation into the fire remains open. Anyone with information that may be helpful to the investigation is asked to call 303-271-0211.
Taplin described the blaze as a “dirty burn” — meaning there was significant amounts of unburned fuel within the fire perimeter that required extensive work to dig into smoldering vegetation.
Inter-Canyon said steep terrain and heavy oak fuels were challenging for crews. Taplin asked that residents in the area refrain from using drones, as it can hinder firefighting efforts.
Brian Ferguson has lived in the area for 17 years and said the fire was "close enough to be concerned." If the fire was human caused, Ferguson said he hopes it teaches a lesson.
"I don't want those kids' life to be ruined, but I want them somehow to be scared straight out of doing something like that again," he said.
WATCH BELOW | Raw SKY9 video of the fire
The fire was reported after neighbors noticed smoke and flames.
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