Firefighters on Sunday evening beat down a small brush fire and residents pitched in with shovels and garden hoses after an apparent lightning strike in a residential area just south of Cortez.
Firefighters arrived within 5-7 minutes of the 5:14 p.m. call, said Cortez Fire Protection District Chief Jeff Vandevoorde. Most flames were extinguished by 5:30 p.m., and all but one brush truck and fire engine had left the scene. Mop-up operations continued until about 7:47 p.m. Firefighters returned on Monday to douse a few hot spots.
Firefighters attacked the roughly 1.5-acre fire on its eastern and western flanks as neighbors shoveled dirt from the fence row into smoldering brush along the fire’s eastern edge.
Flames threatened to spread to a utility pole at the northeastern edge of the fire, but were contained. No other property damage was reported.
Throughout the course of the evening, eight firefighting personnel were involved, as well as five pieces of equipment, according to Assistant Fire Chief Shawn Bittle.
The fire appeared to have started along a fence in a sage and grass field behind the home of Jeremy McDonald, who lives in a small neighborhood across the road from the South Forty Golf Course and Driving Range at 25409 County Road H.
McDonald and his neighbors doused the southern edge of the fire with garden hoses from their backyards. Neighbors Kim and Dennis Giesler shoveled dirt onto smoldering brush. Dennis Giesler also borrowed a Bobcat from Stone Sand and Gravel LLC to dig a fireline.
It was a “community event,” Bittle said.
“That’s one of the things I love about this community,” he added. “Neighbors will help each other out.”