45 Fire Causes Rapid Creek Area Evacuation

Local News

PALISADE, Colo.

32 acres are torched by a wildfire authorities are calling, “The 45 Fire,” but it could have been a lot worse without the quick actions of first responders, one of the home owners. Parker Moreland is that home owner, “I showed up here right when the first fire trucks were getting here.”

The 45 wildfire started about 5 p.m. on Thursday, July, 30 near mile marker 45 on Eastbound Interstate 70, and quickly spread uphill to the Rapid Creek neighborhood. One home, four sheds, including Parker’s shed was destroyed, and some of his peach trees burned up, but this good neighbor nephew didn’t think twice about helping his uncle who lives behind him, or saving the neighborhood. Parker says referring to his uncle’s home, “They have an excavator over there so, I hopped in that, and started trying to clear some of the wood out of the way, and get a fire break so we could get the fire to quit moving around the hill.”

Instead of evacuating, this home owner fought the wildfire that surrounds him home, and he’s definitely not alone. More than a dozen agencies came to the rescue to save lives and property. In Colorado, it’s more challenging to fight fires because fire crews don’t just fight the flames, they fight the terrain itself, and because of that fight no lives were lost. “Just some smoke damage in the house, everything smells like smoke, but we were super fortunate to be able to. I mean, basically the house was surrounded, and somehow we were able to save that,” says Moreland.

Melted power lines show you the ferocity of the flames from the 45 fire that forced 20 homes to evacuate, and destroyed more than a dozen power poles. “It got up into the poles enough, and dropped the power. So, we lost all water. so, that was kind of an issue, trying to supply the trucks up here to keep fighting the fire,” says Moreland.

Right across the street from the burn scar lays one of those homes out of 20 that was saved, but life won’t return back to normal til the power comes back on. Parker says, “We’re out of power. We got a generator running the fridge right now keeping the food cold, and they’re working around the clock right now trying to get the power restored.”

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