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Tumbleweed takeover: Homeowners fear fire hazard

Tumbleweed takeover: Homeowners fear fire hazard

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A sea of tumbleweeds has invaded the Cuchares Ranches subdivision in southeast Colorado Springs.

The wall of tumbleweeds covered a neighborhood block in the subdivision on Tuesday evening, including homes and cars.  Several families were trapped in their homes.  While they say they were amused at first, homeowners tell KRDO NewsChannel 13 that they are frustrated no one is helping them combat the fire hazard.

"Heaven forbid somebody drive through, have a backfire on their car, throw a cigarette butt out," said Melissa Walker.  "If that happened and one of these tumbleweeds caught fire, it would set the whole thing ablaze."

Walker said she expected tumbleweeds in her neighborhood.  The subdivison is only a few months old and is surrounded by empty fields.  But she also expected the homeowner's association to do something about it.

"I don't think they understand the gravity of the situation," Walker said.  "It's not just a few tumbleweeds. It really is a block full of tumbleweeds. We can't drive. We can't walk. We can't get out of our homes.  The fact that they've pretty much abandoned us at this point is really disheartening."

Walker said that firefighters visited the neighborhood to help those who needed to leave their homes.

"They were very sweet," Walker said.  "Unfortunately they don't have the time to help us move anything, but even they said this could be a fire hazard."

Neighbors helped each other clear the tumbleweeds from their homes Tuesday evening, using rakes, shovels, ladders, cars -- anything that could put a dent in the massive amount of tumbleweeds.

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