MORGAN COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — A 35-40 acre fire is now 100% contained after sparking near Wiggins north of the Empire Reservoir. 

Brent Galloway and his wife got out of the house they’ve lived in since November as quickly as they could. 

“First, we’re just trying to wet everything down and the wife ended up grabbing the dog and trying to load up what we could in the cars and get the cars out of the property,” said Galloway.

Thick smoke covered the highway as the Galloways tried to leave. The smoke reduced visibility so much, there was a three-car crash on the road that sent a few people to the hospital. 

“I couldn’t even see the hood of my truck,” said Chief Bailey. “It was zero visibility, maybe five feet.”

No homes were damaged. There was one abandoned structure and 2 outbuildings destroyed, said Fire Chief Wiggins Rural Fire Protection District Travis Bailey. 

“Luckily, by the grace of God, the house is still standing,” said Galloway. “We got very fortunate where the fire just V’d right around the house.”

Fire crews said a blown transformer is the likely cause of this fire.

Chief Bailey said this should be a learning opportunity for everyone to protect their homes.

“There wasn’t anything really for [the fire] to catch against his house, but it did jump Highway 34 pretty effortlessly,” said Bailey. “[Creating] Defensible spaces. We tend to think of it as a mountain activity for mountain homes, but out here in the plains, it’s absolutely a priority for us and something we need to consider doing.”

Police closed Highway 34 near Weld County Road 144 in all directions during the fire.  

Wiggins Fire Department responded to the fire and asked other agencies for assistance.

The Pinpoint Weather Team warned of high winds picking up Sunday afternoon. Most of the state is under a Fire Weather Watch.