Wildfire destroys acres of Sandstone Ranch in Longmont, Colorado

Fire burns approximately 3 miles from Mead High School, local onlookers capture videos and photos


Judy Nieusma

Trees at Sandstone ranch in flames the night of December 3rd.

Kassidy Trembath, Editor in Chief

At about 9 PM on Sunday, December 3rd, a fire was seen south of the baseball fields at Sandstone Ranch, right off Ken Pratt Boulevard (119). Many vehicles pulled over to look and capture photos of the brilliant trees which were engulfed in flames. The bark on the trees glowed a bright orange with smoke all around which made them visible even when it was completely dark and far away. To make matters worse, the wind speeds reached about 32 mph that night (the approximate maximum gust speed was 54 mph).  

From The Longmont Times Call, the fire “burned 6 to 7 acres before crews were able to contain it late Sunday night”.

On December 4th, 9News reported that the wildfire had burned five acres of land at that point. “The fire was 90% contained as of 11:35 p.m. Sunday. Mountain View Fire resources are being released back to their district. Longmont crews will be on scene looking for any hot spots. Investigators are looking for a cause to the fire.”

The fire was said to have been “threatening some historic buildings but no homes, according to Longmont Fire,” reported 9News.

Senior Zac Nieusma from Mead High School was also driving down Ken Pratt late Sunday night with his mom when they noticed the fire burning in the distance. “At first I thought that Walmart was on fire. We didn’t call 9-1-1 because when we saw it, there were already emergency vehicles there.” As they got closer, they realized it wasn’t Walmart, but Sandstone Ranch. They pulled into the Walmart parking lot to stay distant from the ongoing fire. “We stayed in the parking lot near Sandstone, but we never actually were at a close distance to the fires.”

The Assistant Fire Chief from the Denver Fire Department, Brad Balding, explains that the best thing people can do is “to assist when they come across a fire is to verify the address and call 911 and provide accurate information on the address, number of occupants if known. If it can be done safely, notify occupants and notify surrounding neighbors of the fire.”

Sometimes onlookers will attempt to step in and help during an emergency situation. “People who attempt to rescue trapped parties prior to fire department arrival typically increase the likelihood that they will become a victim due to smoke exposure…Well meaning observers cause fire department members to become distracted which increases the time for immediate items to be addressed” says Balding.