Neighbors frustrated by urban campfires in dry conditions

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DENVER -- Neighbors living along the Cherry Creek trail said Thursday they were frustrated to see people lighting campfires at homeless camps considering the dry conditions and risks.

Kim Tracy's mother took photos Wednesday morning after seeing campfires from a homeless camp set up underneath a bridge along the trail near Cherry Creek South Drive and Quebec Street.

The vegetation around the trail is extremely dry after a long stretch without precipitation, and Tracy worried even a small ember could quickly spread.

"Just east of us, you have a couple thousand houses. And we all know with our gusty winds, an ember can do a ton of damage. So that was really the concern, lets be more aware," Tracy said.

Cpt. Greg Pixley with the Denver Fire Department said crews are aware of the problems in the area and have been called on and responded to that area multiple times.

He said it's difficult to track how many urban campfires are started in the area because he said people often put them out when they hear the sirens.

Pixley said no campfires are allowed besides those that have been permitted, which is done through an approval process through the city.

Pixley said residents who see campfires should alert law enforcement immediately and crews will respond.

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