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Firefighters say small grass fire sparks concern

Firefighters say small grass fire still sparks concern

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Colorado Springs Fire Department said Sunday a small grass fire it easily put out still sparks big concern.

Firefighters acted quickly to put out a small grass fire that burned near an apartment building today near Astrozon Boulevard and Hancock Expressway.

Colorado Springs Fire Department Battalion Chief Troy Branham said the fire was small and easy to manage. However, Branham said it's that time of year where nothing can be taken lightly.

Dallen Booker, 9, was playing outside when he saw fire trucks drive into the grassy area near his family's apartment.

"When I went over to get my bike, it smelled like a fire," said Booker.

He said he felt "kind of a little scared" watching the firefighters at work.

Branham said firefighters big concern when working on grass fires is what happens under the surface.

"One of the issues that we had was the type of material that was burning. It's down into what we call the duff, which is small grasses and leaves," said Branham. "If it gets down into the root system, it can actually travel and burn through a root and pop up somewhere else even away from where the original fire burned."

A U.S. Forest Service fire meteorologist predicts fire season will start late in Colorado this year because of late spring snow and rain.  While this moisture is beneficial, it will also make grasses grow taller. 

"It poses a threat toward the end of the summer, beginning of fall when things start drying out and dying again.  Now they are nice and tall so they are going to burn more readily," said Branham.

There were no witnesses to the start of Sunday's grass fire so Branham said the cause of the fire is undetermined.

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