Latest Boulder fire covers 190 acres, is 35% contained

PROMO Fire - Fire Truck Flames House Home - iStock - Glenn_Hewitt
Published Tuesday, March 29, 2022
by Robert Davis | The Center Square contributor

(The Center Square) - Boulder officials have lifted all evacuation orders stemming from a wildfire that started near the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) over the weekend as firefighters have contained more than 35 percent of the blaze. 

The city said residents could return to their homes Sunday evening as firefighters continue to contain the fire, which has affected 190 acres. The evacuation area covered around 8,000 homes and an estimated 19,000 people.

The fire has not damaged any building or caused any injuries, according to officials. 

Brian Oliver, the wildland fire division chief for Boulder Fire-Rescue, said the main concern for firefighters now is the weather. Monday's forecast includes strong winds in the area, which could accelerate the fire. 

"We'll do everything we can to make sure this gets buttoned-up so we can face this wind event this afternoon before some moisture comes in tomorrow," Oliver said. 

Area trails, as well as Eldorado Canyon State Park, which is about eight miles south of NCAR, will remain closed  Monday, according to Marya Washburn, the public information officer for Boulder Fire Rescue said during a press briefing. 

The NCAR fire broke out on Saturday afternoon near Eldorado Canyon just south of Boulder. Officials have not yet determined a cause of the fire and an investigation remains ongoing. 

Over the weekend, Colorado's Division of Fire Prevention and Control deployed a single-engine air tanker to help contain the fire. Air tankers can deliver as much as 800 gallons of fire suppressant at a time. 

Colorado has also deployed a multi-mission aircraft to help Boulder firefighters map the spread of the fire. Other aircraft have also been delivering supplies to firefighting teams on the ground. 

Gov. Jared Polis said in a statement that the state is "committed to ensuring our firefighters and first responders are provided with every defense to fight fires." 

The NCAR fire is the second major wildfire to impact the Boulder area since late last year. The Marshall fire, which began in late December, burned more than 1,000 homes, and caused over $500 million in damages, making it the most destructive wildfire in Colorado state history. 

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