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You've got to be 'kidding': Herd of goats reduced damage from fire

A small wildland fire in unincorporated Elbert County was started by fireworks. A herd of goats kept it from being much worse, firefighters said.

ELBERT COUNTY, Colo. — It was right around noon on Saturday when firefighters got the call for a wildland fire about a quarter acre in size at a property under development in unincorporated Elbert County.

It took five firefighters and a few nearby homeowners about 40 minutes to put the fire out.

"[Firefighters] went out, they made an initial fire attack. Thanks to the efforts of homeowners in the area with fire extinguishers they were able to make a quick stop on the fire," Kyle Monroe of the Rattlesnake Fire Protection District said.

According to Monroe, the cause of the fire was quickly apparent.   

"The cause of the fire was fireworks. Once the investigation started, they found fireworks at the heel of the fire, at the initial point of origin," Monroe said.

Monroe said the fire could have been significantly worse if it weren't for a herd of goats for hire.

"The management company for the HOA in the area had used goats to lower the fuels, just like mowing your lawn. Thank goodness for goats in this case," Monroe said. "Fireworks can be very dangerous, especially here in Colorado, where temperatures have been up, our humidity has been low and our fuels have grown over the last year or so because of the high moisture content last year."

Monroe is clearly not the only firefighter in Colorado concerned about fireworks this July Fourth. And for good reason. On Sunday night, fireworks that were not properly discarded burned the garage of a Highlands Ranch house. 

RELATED: Fireworks thrown away in garage cause fire

A few hours earlier, Denver Police announced the seizure of more than 10,000 pounds of illegal fireworks that were being sold out of a home in northwest Denver, 

"There are plenty of ways that fireworks can go south, and our advice is to keep away from them this year," Monroe said.

According to Monroe, his department responds each year to about 10 fires that are caused by fireworks.

Elbert County is currently under a stage two burn ban, which bans the use and sale of all fireworks.

Any fireworks that leave the ground or explode are illegal in all of Colorado.  

RELATED: Where fireworks are and are not legal in Colorado

RELATED: As concern over illegal fireworks grows, calls can clog 911 dispatch centers

SUGGESTED VIDEOS: Wildfires in Colorado

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