Fire fright on South Table Mountain

32nd Avenue served as a fire break for homes and Coors facilities

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The South Table Mountain Fire was fully containment by the afternoon of March 11, after area fire agencies successfully kept the fire from threatening homes in Golden.

The grass fire which burned about 66 acres began about 3:30 p.m. on March 9. It was located about two miles west of 32nd Avenue and McIntyre Street, near the Coors brewery. The cause is unknown at this time.

Initially, smoke from the fire had drifted over Green Mountain, triggering fears in that area where several fires of an unnatural nature have occured in recent months.

Jefferson County Sheriff’s PIO Jennifer Fulton said said during a fire briefing that terrain hazards made the fire more difficult to contain.

“It’s very steep, there’s some loose rock, there’s very heavy brush, and there’s even some rattlesnakes,” she said.

One firefighter suffered minor injuries fighting the fire on Thursday, though an exact cause was not given. A Sheriff’s PIO said that firefighter was treated, released, and back on the fire line Friday.

Helicopter drops began to dump water on the fire in the afternoon of March 8, as the wind began to push the fire up the nearby ridge, while ground crews worked to keep the fire away from 32nd Avenue, and putting out hot spots throughout the night.

West Metro Fire Rescue is helping Fairmount Fire Rescue on the containment, with crews from Arvada, Foothills, Golden, Golden Gate and Pleasant View departments also on the scene. Fulton reported that 25 different agencies, representing 68 individuals  were fighting the fire at its peak.

One power line pole was destroyed Thursday, and others charred. 

Xcel Energy spokesman Mark Stutz said that as a safety measure power was turned off to about 2,500 Xcel Energy customers, from about 6:45-8 p.m. on March 9, to aid in the power line repairs and for the firefighter’s safety.

Friday afternoon there was still one Xcel customer without electricity — Jackie Kowal, whose home on 32nd Avenue sits almost exactly across the street from where the fire started. A nearby Xcel crew was hard at work replacing the charred remains of the damaged pole.

Having been in the same home for 17 years, Kowal said there had been fire

on South Table Mountain before, but none quite as close.

“I wasn’t afraid. I trust these guys!” she said, standing on her front lawn and gesturing towards the fire crews working to put out hot spots on Friday.

Still, she says the fire danger remains high for the Golden area.

“It’s dry out here, limbs everywhere that blew off in the winter.”

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