There has been numerous record high heat in Denver Colorado this week which has been a suspect in several fires that have started within city limits.
One of the fires started burning yesterday afternoon at a recycling yard. Observers spotted the smoke at the 4900 blocks of Washingstreet around noon.
Local officials are unsure whether or not the heat played a role in starting the fire, but crews had to spend several hours working with the recycle plant's staff to dig through the trash and put out hot spots until the fire was completely put out.
Firefighters reported seeing 15-foot flames when they first entered the site and that the scoring heat made fighting the fire very difficult.
According to Julie Browman who is with Adams County Fire Rescue, "The battalion chief and division chiefs are responsible for rotating the crews out so they can get to rehab to hydrate and take temperatures. On very hot days like this, the rotations are shorter so that they can get to rehab quicker so the crews don’t get dehydrated.”
The firefighters had to take turns trying to put out the blaze while continually visiting pop-up rehab centers to hydrate and cool down.
Greg Pixley who is a Denver Fire Department spokesperson put it in perspective when he stated, “It’s a very dangerous situation. Typically, your body temperature is around 98.6 degrees. It’s 100 degrees outside. So unless there is wind blowing, your body doesn’t have the chance to cool down, because the air around it is higher than your body temperature. So we have to work extra hard putting ice packs behind the neck, opening the coats, and removing gear so air can cool down the body.”
The fire has been ruled as an accident as of now, but this continues to be a developing story.