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Discarded cigarettes likely caused March 5 fires

Post Date:03/06/2018

Please, take the few extra moments to properly dispose of cigarettes and cigars. Not doing so -- especially in the windy and dry conditions we're currently experiencing in Northern Colorado -- leads to fires.

Poudre Fire Authority firefighters on March 5, 2018, put out several fires that were likely due to improperly discarded smoking materials.

cigarette, fires, smoking materials

In one case, firefighters on Engine 1 responded just after 5 a.m. to the area of East Mountain Avenue and Walnut Street, where they found an approximately 5-by-5-foot area of mulch smoldering on the side of the road, between the street and sidewalk. They extinguished the fire, using a fire hose, and then used a shovel to turn the mulch to ensure the hot spots were suffocated. The fire was most likely caused by an improperly discarded cigarette.

Just before 9 a.m., multiple PFA units were dispatched to 2201 S. College Ave., behind Wilbur's Total Beverage, where they extinguished a fire that started under some wooden pallets and grew quickly because of the wind. The cause was accidental, possibly due to a smoldering cigarette.

That same day, about 2 p.m., firefighters from Engine 6 were shopping at the King Sooper's on South Timberline Road (Fun fact: They use their own money, not taxpayer dollars, to buy their meals.) when they were paged to the front of the store and directed outside to put out a fire burning in a shrub near a picnic table by the pharmacy drive-through. An off-duty captain happened to be in the area and knocked down the flames; Engine 6's crew helped to extinguish the fire in the shrub, around which there were discarded cigarettes. The firefighters advised managers to inform their employees about proper cigarette disposal.

- Smokers should fully extinguish their cigarettes in a
non-combustible container or ashtray.

- Do not throw lit cigarettes out of moving vehicles or
directly on the ground. Not only does this action
increase the potential for a fire, but it is littering.

- Use a sturdy ashtray with a wide, stable base or a
can filled with sand to collect ashes.

- Soak cigarette butts and ashes in water before
throwing them away.

For more safety information, visit the U.S. Fire Administration's site:


It is truly our honor to provide this community with prompt, skillful and caring service 24/7/365. If ever you have questions, about fire- and life-safety education, our firefighters, or anything else, don't hesitate to reach out. 

Madeline Noblett 
Public Affairs and Communication Manager 
Poudre Fire Authority