A Wildfire is Found Off a Public Trail in Boulder County
A wildfire was discovered off a public open space trail just south of the National Center for Atmospheric Research. The exact age of the campfire was not immediately available, sheriff’s spokesperson Carrie Haverfield said. The remains are part of a 190-acre blaze that burned within a thousand yards of homes in late December. The Boulder sheriff’s office is investigating the cause of the fire.
Table Mesa Fire
A drone crash ignited the Table Mesa Fire in Boulder County today, forcing mandatory evacuations in southwest Longmont. University of Colorado Boulder researchers were attempting to study the effects of severe weather when the drone crashed, igniting a lithium ion battery cell. Boulder firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze before it spread to homes and other structures. However, high winds caused the fire to spread rapidly.
As of today, the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office lifted its mandatory evacuation order due to the blaze, which has burned 52 acres of land in the area. As of 3:48 p.m., the fire has been contained to 25 acres. The fire is considered accidental and will not cause any more damage to structures or people. It has caused evacuations for residents in Nevada and Nelson, as well as other neighborhoods.
A wildfire broke out near the National Center for Atmospheric Research, or NCAR. The blaze began around 2 p.m. Saturday and grew to 120 acres by 5:30 p.m. On Monday morning, firefighters held a press conference to announce the fire was only 35 percent contained. By Wednesday morning, the fire was at a total of 190 acres. Fortunately, no homes were damaged and no injuries have been reported.
The National Weather Service has issued a critical fire weather alert for the Denver metro area and eastern Colorado. According to the agency, today’s combination of conditions could be the worst since the Marshall Fire in February 2008. People should be extra cautious in their fire activities and report smoke if they see it. The National Weather Service warns that these conditions are likely to persist into the early spring. A spring storm system is forecast to bring high winds to Boulder County.
The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office has completed their investigation into the cause of the Calwood Fire. This wildfire, associated with case number 20-4630, first broke out Saturday afternoon, October 17 near the Cal-Wood Education Center. Due to strong west winds and dry conditions, the fire spread quickly, forcing evacuations for homes as far as Hygiene. Today, firefighters are working to bring the fire under control.
The CalWood Fire has burned through more than 8700 parched acres in less than twenty-four hours. It has forced the evacuation of nearly 3,000 people in Boulder County. The fire started Saturday, only 50 miles from the Cameron Peak Fire, which has burned over 317 square miles since mid-August. The fire is estimated to be between five and 10 percent contained. Boulder County Sheriff’s Office Division Chief Mike Wagner has provided an update on the fires.
A recent storm brought about two inches of snow to Boulder County, but the wind blew off that snow. On the other hand, the snow still remains on north-facing slopes. Firefighters patrolled the fire today, and there were no new areas of smoke. A remote camera will be placed on the fire tomorrow to monitor the smoke along the skyline. A minimum of an inch of snow has fallen on the fire, but firefighters continue to monitor it.
At 10:58 p.m. MDT October 17, a U.S. Forest Service fixed wing aircraft had collected data on the perimeter of the Calwood Fire. The fire had burned more than six thousand acres and forced residents to evacuate in three foothill towns. One of those residents is Shannon Kiss, who lives in a Gunbarrel condo. The smoke permeated her home, forcing her to tape up doors and spread blankets on the floor. Though the cause of the fire is still unknown, the crew has determined that it was not likely caused by lightning, as high winds and low humidity have fueled the blaze over the past few weeks.
Cameron Peak Fire
The CalWood Fire, burning through 8,700 acres in less than 24 hours, has forced the evacuation of almost 3,000 people in Boulder County. The fire began on Saturday and is located about 50 miles south of the Cameron Peak Fire. The fire, the largest in Colorado history, has consumed more than 317 square miles since mid-August. Those affected should remain indoors and avoid the blaze until conditions improve.
Approximately 62% of the fire has been contained, and firefighters are preparing for a day of staging at incident command posts. They will spend the day assessing damage in evacuated areas. As of today, the Cameron Peak Fire has burned more than 187,000 acres. It’s the worst wildfire in Colorado’s history, forcing the evacuation of nearly 3,000 people. It has been estimated that the fire started by an arsonist and is now at 62% containment.
The NWS Denver/Boulder office increased messaging 24 hours before the fire’s arrival to warn residents of the danger. The Colorado National Forest was undergoing a Red Flag Warning on September 6th and 7th, and another was issued for the week of September 8th. Another strong front was expected to move through the area on September 6th and 7th, which would accelerate the spread of the fire. Firefighting efforts were hindered by the weather forecast, but a day of snowfall helped limit the spread of the fire.
While wildfires are a part of the landscape in Colorado, their risks have increased over time. Woodlands have evolved to survive periodic fires. However, humans have been causing wildfires by adding fuel and increasing aridity to Colorado’s forests. This is resulting in increasingly severe drought conditions and fewer fire prevention efforts. It is essential that residents monitor fire information closely and minimize the chances of disasters.
Bear Peak Fire
A small wildfire broke out near Flagstaff Road and Bison Drive in Boulder County Tuesday afternoon, causing several hours of chaos for residents. Despite being more than 30 percent contained, the fire has not destroyed any structures and remains under investigation. A Multi-Agency Fire Investigating Team will continue their investigation into the cause of the blaze in the morning. A woman was arrested and has been questioned by police. Another fire broke out around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday in the 8000 block of N. 41st Street.
Those who were able to leave their homes are being urged to take precautions. Although the fire has caused minimal damage to structures, it has affected thousands of people in Boulder County. In addition to threatening residents, it has disrupted a warm and sunny weekend for residents of the area. Residents on Vassar Drive began packing up their possessions, as police sirens blared. Those in nearby homes were also evacuated, with traffic back up to its normal levels for a quarter mile.
Despite the fire’s rapid growth, no structures were destroyed. Damage was estimated between five and ten thousand dollars. Firefighters continue to work around the clock, but the overall evacuation zone has reached 194,000. The fire has also affected King Soopers grocery store, where a gunman killed 10 people a year ago. Despite this devastation, Boulder Fire-Rescue and the local fire department are doing their best to mitigate the risk of future incidents and to prepare residents for this new climate reality.
A four-acre grass fire was reported in north Boulder, but it was later put out by firefighters. Boulder County’s Wildland Division, which responds to numerous fires in the region, told 9NEWS that despite the early start in the traditional fire season, the agency is still performing well. While multiple fires are expected this year, the department is confident that each incident improves its performance. That’s an encouraging sign.
Table Mountain Fire
A drone crash in Boulder County today ignited the Table Mountain Fire. The crash occurred in the 5000 block of Nelson Road west of Longmont. Researchers at the University of Colorado were conducting severe weather studies when the drone crashed. The resulting fire caused more than 300 people to evacuate, and the evacuation order was lifted at 4:45 p.m. Wednesday. Fire officials are still investigating the cause of the fire. Fortunately, no injuries were reported.
The National Weather Service has issued a high fire danger warning for the area, with low humidity and high winds contributing to the fire’s growth. Residents in Boulder County and the city of Monte Vista were ordered to evacuate this afternoon after the Table Mountain Fire started near Nelson Rd. At 3:48 p.m., the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office canceled evacuation orders after the fire was contained. Authorities were able to reaffirm that the fire was not endangering people.
The cause of the fire is still being investigated, but firefighters are confident that the drone crashed as the researchers were studying severe weather conditions. The drone crashed with high velocity, igniting a lithium ion battery cell. A fire-fighting crew tried to put out the blaze using a fire extinguisher, but the strong winds quickly spread the flames. The researchers were able to stay on the scene and cooperate with investigators.
The fire is a “spot fire” and no structures have been lost. The cause of the blaze is unknown. The National Weather Service says that the combination of conditions on Friday could be the worst since the Marshall Fire in 1989. Be cautious and report any suspicious smoke to the local 911 dispatch center. When you see smoke in the sky, it could be the Table Mountain Fire. In Boulder County, the fire is a “hot spot.”