400-Acre Grass Fire Prompts Evacuations In West Denver Suburb

West Metro Fire
A 100-acre grass fire started near Fox Hollow Golf Course and Bear Creek Lake State Park in Lakewood on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2020.

Updated Monday, Feb. 8, 2021 at 10:10 a.m.

More than 100 firefighters responded to a fire near Fox Hollow Golf Course and Bear Creek Lake Park in Jefferson County on Sunday afternoon.

Propelled east by the wind, the fire also prompted evacuations of a large swath of metro neighborhoods, from C-470 east to Kipling Parkway and from U.S. 285 north to Morrison Road.

By about 4 p.m., West Metro Fire Rescue said they had most of the 446-acre fire under control and were extinguishing hot spots. It said 110 firefighters and 19 engines were on the scene after the fire broke out around 1 p.m.

Just after 6 p.m., the agency reported that the fire has been determined to be human-caused, but said on Twitter that, "it's not known if it was accidental or intentional." West Metro Fire Rescue requested anyone with information about how it started to call 303-539-9531.

The evacuation order was lifted around 7 p.m., but residents in the nearby neighborhoods were still under pre-evacuation until at least 7 a.m. Monday. But West Metro crews were still patrolling the fire late into the evening.

The fire district said, "The forecast is calling for a windy evening, and those winds could pick up embers from the interior and carry them for quite some distance, causing spot fires," in a tweet.

Another grass fire was also ignited in south Denver near the Cherry Creek Reservoir. That fire also forced evacuations around South Parker Road.

South Metro Fire Rescue spokesperson Connor Christian said Monday morning that the fire was believed to be contained and no longer growing. Evacuations for residents on the west side of South Parker Road were lifted by 6 p.m. on Sunday and those homes are no longer threatened.

Snow fell lightly on the fire overnight, but Monday brought the possibility of more winds and red flag conditions. Investigators were only able to start work identifying the point of ignition in the morning and have not yet determined whether the fire was human-caused.

Cherry Creek State Park is open but trails on the east side of the park, and the road from the eastern entrance to the shooting range, remain closed as mop-up operations continue in the area.

A cold front moved into the area from the west on Sunday evening, according to the National Weather Service. It said the wind will slow and the humidity will rise from 8 percent to 70 percent by sunset, which will ease the dangerous fire conditions.

"Any moisture helps," Christian said.

Daniel J. Schneider contributed to this report.