Evacuations lifted after Green Mountain Fire lights skyline west of Lakewood

A fire burns on Green Mountain. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

A brush fire on Green Mountain quickly multiplied in size due to windy conditions, but fire fighters made good progress against it within hours on Monday night.

The fire started west of Lakewood around or soon after sunset, growing quickly from 5 acres to about 100 acres within a 45-minute period, according to West Metro Fire Rescue. The fire was “slowing down” and was 90 percent contained by 9:30 p.m.

“It was surprising last night that there was so much fire activity, considering that humidity was 35 percent – but it was windy,” said Ronda Scholting of WMFR. “So, when the winds died down, that was what helped it. It slowed the fire down.”

No structures had been reported as damaged or destroyed. Twelve homes were evacuated, but residents were allowed to return by 10 p.m. Monday. No cause has yet been determined.

The Green Mountain Fire lights the sky west of Lakewood on Nov. 28, 2016. (kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
The Green Mountain Fire lights the sky west of Lakewood on Nov. 28, 2016. (kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
A view of the Green Mountain Fire. (Courtesy Gabe Mercado.)
A view of the Green Mountain Fire. (Courtesy Gabe Mercado.)

The fire originally was thought to be up to 300 acres, but examination in the daylight showed it to be 96 acres instead. (It’s pretty hard to measure a rapidly shifting fire at night.) Much of the fire was on terrain too steep to access, so the 160 firefighters focused much of their efforts on protecting homes while a number of brush trucks deployed to flatter terrain, Scholting said.

“If the wind does shift, or if we see a big change in direction or something like that, we would have had more structures in the direct path, and then we would’ve taken steps to protect those,” said Chief Steve Aseltine of WMFR.

Denver Fire Department joined the containment effort, sending six trucks to Lakewood. The state fire division also sent two fire crews, among other supporting agencies. In all, 160 firefighters and 52 pieces of fire-fighting equipment responded.

The evacuated homes included residences on South Deframe Way, West Exposition Drive and South Devinney Way. All those streets are east or southeast of William F. Hayden Green Mountain Park. Evacuations also were ordered between the park and West Ellsworth Avenue to the north.

Residents being evacuated were sent to Creighton Middle School at 50 S. Kipling St. in Lakewood, where dozens of cars had assembled by about 8 p.m., according to Denver Post reporter Jon Murray.

Jefferson County was using reverse 911 to alert people of evacuations, according to West Metro Fire. Emergency services established a staging ground off South Rooney Road, on the eastern side of the mountain.

Views of the fire:
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A fire burns on Green Mountain. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
A view of the Green Mountain Fire. (Courtesy @VirtualSherpa)
A view of the Green Mountain Fire. (Courtesy @VirtualSherpa)
Evacuees from the Green Mountain Fire at Creighton Middle School. (Jefferson County Schools)
Evacuees from the Green Mountain Fire at Creighton Middle School. (Jefferson County Schools)
A fire burns on Green Mountain, with residence in foreground. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
A fire burns on Green Mountain, with residence in foreground. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
The Green Mountain Fire viewed from the Sloans Lake area. (Courtesy Allen Cowgill)
The Green Mountain Fire viewed from the Sloans Lake area. (Courtesy Allen Cowgill)
Andrew Kenney

Author: Andrew Kenney

Andrew Kenney writes about public spaces, Denver phenomena and whatever else. He previously worked for six years as a reporter at The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. His most prized possession is his collection of bizarre voicemail. Leave him one at 303-502-2803, or email akenney@denverite.com.