Tanker fire sparks grass fire that threatened family’s farm

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DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. -- Interstate 25 was back open after a grass fire Wednesday forced Colorado State Patrol to close the busy highway for several hours near Monument Hill south of Castle Rock.

The blaze started shortly after noon.

Monty Anderson and his son Seth felt like they just woke up from a nightmare. Their Greenwood Ranch was right in the path of the oncoming flames.

"I was thinking aww crap," said Seth.

The Anderson's scrambled to round up their livestock before the flames reached their doorstep.

"It looked like it was coming down the ridge behind us at a pretty good lick you know. It's hard to describe. You just don't now what to do first. You've got so many things to do. Thank God you got good neighbors that start pitching in and helping you," said Monty.

Colorado State Patrol says the blaze started a few miles up the road when a tanker truck full of jet fuel experienced some kind of mechanical failure.

A helicopter fought the flames from above as the fire took off, fueled by 45 mile an hour winds and hot temperatures.

Jake Thomas was one of the hundreds of drivers caught in the back-up on I-25 which stretched nearly 20 miles. The highway was closed for more than three hours.

"I spent two-and-a-half-hours in traffic to go about four miles, so thanks Colorado. I don't want to say road rage, but it's pretty aggravating," said Thomas.

Back on the Greenwood Ranch, the nightmare is now over. The Anderson's are counting their blessings and their livestock, just thankful their ranch is still in one piece.

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