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Boulder fire forces evacuations inside city limits

Boulder fire forces evacuations inside city limits

Oct 29 2010

BOULDER - Officials say two fires are burning about a quarter-mile west of Boulder Canyon on Friday, with the blaze moving in a northerly direction. Evacuations have been ordered inside the city limits.

The Boulder County Sheriff''s Office says the fire started on public land around 8:20 a.m. Friday in the Elephant Buttress area of the canyon, near mile marker 40. It has been dubbed the Boulder Dome Fire.

The Boulder Office of Emergency Management says the first fire is about 10 acres and the second is about 1 acre in size.

"The wind and fuel conditions are scary," Cmd. Rick Brough from the Boulder County Sheriff''s Office told 9NEWS.

Authorities are evacuating the Canon Park Subdivision at the base of Boulder Canyon, the mouth of Sunshine Canyon up to Poorman Road, including the Seven Hills subdivision and Anemone Road, and the Knollwood Subdivision.

According to the Boulder OEM, 181 phone numbers have been notified of the fire through a reverse emergency notification.

Authorities have also issued evacuation orders for homes and businesses with the City of Boulder from Canyon Boulevard on the south to High Street on the north, and from the fire on the west to 7th Street on the east. Boulder city officials say there are about 1,700 people and 800 units in the city''s evacuation area.

"As a precaution and to aid responders dealing with the Dome Fire, we are ordering a mandatory evacuation in some neighborhoods within the city," City Manager Jane S. Brautigam stated in a news release. "We are asking that residents follow the directions of emergency crews now so that emergency equipment can be positioned and crews can focus on extinguishing the wildfire. Resident and business cooperation is greatly appreciated as we work to contain this fire."

The Boulder Community Hospital Mapleton and Maxwell facilities are scheduled to be evacuated by 11:30 a.m. Authorities are asking patients not to come to the hospital. They say there are no plans at this time to evacuate the Boulder Community Hospital.

Evacuated residents are being asked to head to the Coors Event Center at the University of Colorado. Evacuees can call 303-441-7730 for more information.

The 9NEWS Weather Team says sustained wind speeds in the area around the fire have been between 10 and 20 mph but the wind gusts have been much stronger.

A combination of unseasonably warm temperatures, very dry soil, and the gusty winds have promoted the National Weather Service to issue a RED FLAG WARNING in the area until 6 p.m. The warning includes the foothills of Boulder and Larimer Counties as well as the Palmer Divide in Douglas and Elbert Counties.

Winds on Friday morning around Elephant Buttress have been blowing from the west at sustained speeds of 10 to 20 mph. None of the weather observation stations in the area have recorded gusts over 30 mph but we could see occasional gusts to 40 mph.

A significant increase in wind speed is not expected Friday. If anything, the wind should decrease late Friday, according to the 9NEWS Weather Team.

Boulder Canyon (State Highway 119) is closed at Settler''s Park in Boulder.

About two dozen firefighters are on scene from Four Mile Fire Protection District, Boulder Rural, City of Boulder Fire, Sugarloaf and Boulder County Sheriff fire crews.

A crew leader told firefighters heading into the field to make sure to take enough water to last them until midnight.

A single-engine air tanker is in the air fighting the blaze.

Children, the elderly and people with respiratory problems should remain indoors with the windows and doors closed, according to the Boulder OEM.

Boulder Humane Society (303-442-4030) and the Boulder County Fairgrounds (303-548-6530) are accepting displaced animals.
9NEWS has crews at the scene and will update this story as more information becomes available.
(KUSA-TV 2010 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

Fire burns 144 acres, forces massive evacuations in Boulder

October  30,  2010    

BOULDER, Colo. -- A mandatory evacuation order went out to almost 2,000 residents inside the city of Boulder, and the foothills west of town on Friday as a wind-fueled wildfire burned in the foothills.

The City of Boulder maintained the mandatory evacuations for all businesses and residences west of 7th Street from Canyon Boulevard on the south to North Street on the north throughout Friday night and until further notice.

The Dome Fire, burning roughly mile west of Boulder Canyon, was estimated at 144 acres Friday evening with less than 5 percent containment. It was first reported shortly after 8 a.m. and originated near Dome Rock on City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks property.
Around 100 firefighters from 20 agencies were on scene Friday afternoon and at least two air tankers were making drops of flame retardant. Sixty crew members stayed on the scene throughout the night.

On Saturday officials said there will be 200 firefighters working the fire and a single-engine air tanker and one helicopter will be flying. Winds remain the biggest concern, expected to gust back up to 25 mph Saturday.

"I think there's still potential [for the fire to explode] and at this point we just don't know with the winds what's going to happen tomorrow. So there's still a lot of potential that this could take off," said Commander Rick Brough of the Boulder County Sheriff's Office.

Power outages were occurring as crews from Xcel energy worked to shut off power in the burn zone for safety reasons, and to help firefighters with their back burn operations.
Xcel Energy shut off the natural gas supply to all residences in the Knollwood area on Friday afternoon, including turning off the meter at each residence.,0,1811059.story?hpt=T2


2 Wildfires Prompt Evacuations in Boulder, Colorado

Oct 30
Authorities lift fire evacuations
More than 1,700 people evacuated because of a wildfire west of Boulder are being allowed to return to their homes after firefighters worked through the night to stop the fire from spreading.
Calm winds and higher humidity helped keep the 144-acre fire from spreading overnight Saturday. It is now 70 percent contained.

Oct 29
2 wildfires burning in Colorado on Friday prompted the evacuations of the homes of 1,700 people as well as more in neighboring foothills where dozens of houses were burned in a blaze last month.

Nearly 140 homes in three subdivisions in the Boulder County foothills were evacuated Friday morning shortly after the wildfires were first reported, and authorities issued emergency phone calls to 181 numbers. Officials later ordered evacuations for a portion of Boulder's west side. Public buildings including a senior center, a court house and two medical buildings were also evacuated.


At least some homes destroyed by Colorado wildfire


CONIFER, Colo. (AP) A wildfire erupted amid dry, windy weather in Colorado on Monday, and authorities say at least some homes have been destroyed in the mountains west of Denver.

Jefferson County sheriff's spokesman Mark Techmeyer said it's not clear how many houses have been lost.

The fast-moving fire has burned at least 200 acres and prompted evacuations of 374 homes.

Up to a dozen smaller fires were reported from the northeast Colorado plains to the southern part of the state. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

The 200-acre fire was about 25 miles southwest of Denver. Shelters were set up in two high schools and the Red Cross said it was preparing to send cots and blankets.

The National Weather Service said sustained winds of up to 40 mph hit the fire area with gusts up to 55 mph, but they began to die down after sunset.

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