Emergency officials say 19,000 Colorado residents were ordered to evacuate on Saturday due to the rapid spread of the 2021 catastrophic wildfire in the area.
Boulder, Colo. – Authorities on Saturday issued a evacuation order for 19,000 people near a fast-moving Colorado wildfire on Rolling Hill south of downtown Colorado College, not far from the site of a devastating 2021 fire that flattened more than 1,000 homes.
According to the Bulder Office of Emergency Management, the fire had spread to 123 acres (50 hectares) by the last afternoon without any control. 8,000 homes have been ordered to be evacuated.
Boulder police said on Twitter that protected wildlife was burning near Table Mesa Para and the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Authorities called it an NCAR fire.
The fire is in an area where a fire last year destroyed 1,000 homes in unorganized Boulder County and suburban Superior and Louisville.
Top city officials told residents in an email that there was no immediate concern for the community.
The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office said the fire spread south-southeast toward Eldorado Springs.
Eldorado Canyon State Park has been closed and authorities have ordered the removal of hikers in the area. University of Colorado Boulder police were evacuating the southern campus and police stopped westbound vehicles on the road near the fire.
Boulder Fire-Rescue spokeswoman Maria Washburn said the blaze started around 2pm on Saturday. An emergency operations center has been activated, Boulder police said. Emergency alerts were sent to cellphones within a radius of 1/4 mile (0.4 kilometers) of the research center.
“The message has been given to evacuate the area due to the fast-moving fire #boulder,” police said.
The cause of the fire was not immediately known.
The sky was clear and the temperature was about 73 degrees (23 degrees Celsius) and the wind about 25 miles (40 km per hour). The wind was receding after Saturday, Washburn said.