A Potential Fire on Northwest Pad

A parent of Prospect Ridge students captured this photo at 3:33 pm (photo timestamp) on 1/14/2022. She was in the process of picking up her children when she noticed the black smoke that appears to be coming from the Northwest B pad.
The following information was released on the Broomfield Oil and Gas dashboard:
“At 4:00PM on Friday January 14th, Extraction notified CCOB of an event at the NW-B that caused a visible smoke plume. This was caused by flowback fluid being sent from one of the separators to the ECD and combusting in a controlled manner within the device. This was not a fire, and the event appears to have been short lived.

“North Metro Fire Department was alerted and has been in communication with Extraction’s emergency manager on if response is needed (response had not yet taken place at the time of the call). The on-duty Broomfield inspector has dispatched to the site to provide field verification of the information XOG supplied.

“Root cause investigation is taking place and I will update the Council as soon as more information is available. No trigger canisters were activated from this event.”

We are assuming that the “I” in this communication is Local Government Desingnee Andrew Valdez.

A separate update was posted on a popular Broomfield Facebook page from Council member Deven Shaff: “North Metro Fire, in an abundance of caution, did respond to the incident and got visual confirmation that the incident was limited and short-lived and there was no damage or injuries. CCOB inspector confirmed the same.

“Root cause analysis is that a separator valve malfunctioned which sent the fluid to the ECD. The valve and electronic controller have been replaced.

“Tomorrow, Extraction is voluntarily performing an opacity test of the ECD to ensure it is combusting with proper efficiency.”

After noticing that Civitas/ Extraction and Broomfield claimed that “this was not a fire,” a resident who was passing by the Northwest-B pad shared this dashboard camera video with us. The video clearly shows flames and what looks to most of us like a fire.

After experiencing so much trauma over Colorado’s most destructive wildfire yet, residents in the north suburbs and in unincorporated Adams County of Broomfield have to reconcile sights like this and the threat from a fire related to oil and gas operations. These large plumes of smoke and high-reaching flames put an already nervous group of neighbors on high alert. This doesn’t even touch on the fears of explosions of a mega-well industrial operation only 1600 feet from the nearest home.

While the winds were not as strong as they were on 12/30/2021 when a wildfire claimed 1000+ homes just miles away from this event, local residents report gusty winds at the time of the flare-up on this active fracking pad.

Please share your concerns with the city and county of Broomfield by filling out the form here or emailing your council directly at council@broomfieldcitycouncil.org.