A Colorado wildfire south of Boulder that forced nearly 20,000 people to flee was listed by 21% Sunday morning and most evacuation orders were revoked.
Boulder, Colo. – A fire south of Boulder that forced about 20,000 people to flee was 21% listed and most evictions were lifted by Sunday morning, Boulder Fire-Rescue officials said.
Incident Commander Mike Smith said Saturday’s fire, which burned 1,000 yards (914 meters) inside the house on the west end of the boulder.
A quick initial attack “is one of the reasons we’ve had such great success in combining all the fuel mitigation treatments we’ve had in the area,” Smith said Sunday.
He said fire crews were able to use the aircraft to control the fire by installing a fire prevention line near the house on a winding hill south of the college town.
The evacuation space was reduced by the end of Saturday to cover about 1,700 people and 700 homes, down from about 8,000 homes the previous day. Fire managers will allow more people to return to their homes on Sunday as it becomes safer, officials said.
Smith said Sunday’s work was focused on strengthening the fire line and making sure no fires were burning in the town of Boulder or towards the Eldorado Canyon. The crew was working to corral the fire in an area of rocks and snow.
The fire burned approximately 200 acres (81 hectares) of dormant trees and dry grass, not far from where the fire in late December, pushed by strong winds, burned more than 9 square miles (24 square kilometers) and destroyed about 1,100 homes.
Fire crews are concerned about the upcoming fire season, Smith said.
“I think it’s a sign of the way things are going,” he said. “We are continuing to work on our planning process. We continue to work on team building and work with our partners to ensure we can dial in as much as we can. We’re feeling good, but we’re a little nervous about the upcoming season. “
The blaze broke out around 2 a.m. Saturday and burned protected forests near the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder police said. Authorities called it an NCAR fire and the cause is not yet known, although officials have found the location where it was believed to have started, Smith said.