A worker digging a trench on a northern Colorado ranch hit a high-pressure gas line, sparking an explosion that sent flames several hundred feet into the air and touched off a small grass fire.

Sean Standridge, a spokesman for the Weld County Sheriff's Office, tells The Greeley Tribune an employee for DCP Midstream hit the 12-inch gas line at the Wells Ranch east of Lucerne on Thursday afternoon. The worker was not injured, but the trenching machine was destroyed.

Fire crews recommended that residents within a 2-mile radius of the fire leave their homes. The fire is in an area with few homes.

PDC Energy and DCP Midstream officials were at the scene Thursday.