Green Mountain survives fire, now greener than ever

Green Mountain survives fire, now greener than ever

18 October 2008

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USA — Two months after a wildfire burned more than 700 acres along the east side of Green Mountain, the landscape is returning to normal.

Driving westbound along 6th Avenue near Indiana Street you can see a defined line on the north side of the mountain where new grass is growing.

Lakewood Regional Parks Supervisor Drew Sprafke says after the fire, many residents found it hard to believe things would ever be the same.

“A lot of people wouldn’t believe us when we told them it would come back and I think it’s just kind of showing it will,” said Sprafke.

Sprafke credits good rainfall and favorable weather conditions for allowing the grass to grow back earlier than anyone expected.

“We have 6 and 8 inch tall grass out here, I didn’t think we’d have it that good, but we’ve really had fantastic weather this fall,” said Sprafke.

Patty Opp and her husband live right at the foot of the mountain, and have watched their backyard undergo a dramatic transformation since the fire.

“This is the first time we’ve been here in 22 years it’s been that lush and green and beautiful,” said Opp from her back patio looking out at Green Mountain.

Lighting caused the fire that spread across the east side of the mountain. Flames came dangerously close to some homes, but fortunately all structures were spared.

“Sometimes nature can be really scary,” said Opp. “Now that it’s all over, it’s been very beneficial and it’s nature’s way of taking care of the environment.

Sprake says the best is yet to come. If winter provides good moisture, he says the mountain will not only be green come spring, there will be wild flowers everywhere.

“The result is beautiful, it’s really nice to sit out here and just look at it,” said Opp of her new view.

The wildlife once seen on the east side of Green Mountain has not yet returned. The city says the animals will come back once the shrubs have time to grow back.

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