It was a heart-stopping moment for an area still on edge weeks after the devastating Waldo Canyon Fire: a plume of smoke rising high among the foothills west of Monument.
Once located, the fire was determined to be only half an acre and quickly put under control. But for fire-weary El Paso County residents, no fire can be taken lightly.
"You just don't know. All it takes is some nice winds that we seem to get here a lot, and it blows across interstates, across reservoirs as we saw, so I don't think you can take anything for granted. I think you need to be ready to go no matter what, no matter how small it is," one Monument resident told 11 News.
The fire was reported early Thursday afternoon, and was at 15 percent containment by 6:30 p.m. after an aggressive attack by several agencies, which included a slurry drop over the fire.
The fire is 100 percent contained as of Friday afternoon, though crews anticipate mop up work to continue for the next one to two days.
Lt. Jeff Kramer with the Sheriff's Office tells 11 News that the office began a smoke investigation after receiving numerous calls regarding a plume of smoke in the area of Trail 716 off Mt. Herman Road shortly after noon Thursday.
Once located, hikers and motorists on Mt. Herman Road were told to get off, though no homes were ever evacuated. The El Paso Wildland Crew, Tri-Lakes Fire Department, Monument Fire Department, Palmer Lake Fire Department and the Forest Service all responded.
The fire burned among ponderosa pine, creating the tall column visible from the interstate north of Colorado Springs. The flames remained concentrated to the backside of Mt. Herman.
At this time, investigators are uncertain what started the fire.
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