NCAR Fire Colorado Official Released Updates:
Colorado Official Released Updates about NCAR Fire here you know every detail you need to know what’s going on in Colorado. A wildfire near the National Center for Atmospheric Research crept within a few hundred yards of homes and forced almost 20,000 evacuations in the south Boulder area Saturday afternoon, but officials lifted a large number of evacuations just before midnight.
The town of Eldorado Springs remains under evacuation, as well as the Devil’s Thumb neighborhood west of Lehigh Street and Mesa Elementary. There are also road closures at Cragmoor Road and Lehigh Street, Bear Mountain Drive and Wildwood Road, and Colo. 93 and Eldorado Springs Drive
Evacuations for all other areas have been lifted, though officials asked residents to remain alert and keep their phones with them.
Boulder Fire-Rescue spokeswoman Marya Washburn said about 1,600 to 1,900 homes were in the evacuation area as of 11:30 p.m., down from 8,000 homes and 19,000 people earlier in the day.
The East Boulder Community Center, 5660 Sioux Drive, has been opened as an evacuation point and will also serve as an overnight shelter.
Household pets are welcome at the East Boulder Community Center, but those animals also can be taken to the Humane Society of Boulder Valley, 2323 55th St. Free pet food and supplies also are available there.
About 50 to 60 residents were there as of 8 p.m. Saturday.
Boulder County Fairgrounds at 9595 Nelson Road in Longmont is now accepting large animals.
The fire that broke almost exactly three months after the Marshall Fire has grown to 122 acres.
Boulder-Fire rescue officials said the fire is moving south and not toward the city, but as a precaution crews have been stationed near Stony Hill Drive southeast of NCAR to create a wet zone about 30 feet from homes as a barrier.
Officials said the fire came within about a tenth of a mile from homes in that area, though they are not believed to be threatened at this time.
“Crews did excellent, excellent work keeping it out of the subdivision here down here on the western edge of the city,” said Boulder Fire-Rescue Division Chief Brian Oliver.
There have also been no reported injuries as a result of the fire
Ed Schumate and his wife, Susan Cress, stood outside the East Boulder Community Center around 8 p.m. Saturday.
Schumate said it was around 2:30 p.m. when he got a phone notification to evacuate, then a Boulder police officer came to the door of their home in the 3100 blocks of Cripple Creek Trail area.
“I wasn’t paying too much attention to the clock, I was just looking at the smoke,” he said, “lots of smoke.”
The couple doesn’t have their car, so Boulder police were able to take them to the evacuation center. He said they were trying to decide whether to stay there or go to a hotel for the night. In 34 years living at their Boulder home, he said Saturday was the first time they had been evacuated for a fire.
Officials said the fire started at about 2 p.m., with winds in the area at about 15 to 25 mph out of the northwest. Winds died down in the afternoon, and Oliver said crews hoped to take advantage of the weather conditions overnight.
“We’ll get crews working on mopping up and securing things overnight while the humidity is up,” Oliver said.
Oliver said crews will likely be working on the fire for the next few days due to the amount of fuel, with dormant trees and dry grass.
“That’s why we had such active fire behavior,” Oliver said. “We’re not in that green-up stage of spring yet.”
Washburn also warned that changes in the wind and air pressure would lead to more smoke. In the city of Boulder, it did not indicate increased fire activity.
Boulder had requested two air tankers from Texas. But officials did not know when they would arrive, and Oliver said all air efforts would have to stop at nightfall.
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis issued a statement Saturday.
“We are thankful for the swift action and response to this wildfire by our firefighters and first responders,” Polis stated. “State officials have spoken with Sheriff (Joe) Pelle this afternoon. And the state has deployed two firefighting aircraft, including a single-engineer tanker and type 2 helicopter. And stands ready to assist with the response. We will continue to monitor this evolving situation.”
Hikers flee flames:
Boulder resident Isabella Fortunato was hiking with friends and her dog Luna on the Bear Canyon Trail. On Saturday afternoon when they started to see billowing smoke and hikers running back down the trail.
“I didn’t know what to think,” Fortunato said. “I’ve seen fires before, but never while hiking. I was like ‘should we go back?’”
With their car in the NCAR parking lot and police blocking off Table Mesa at Vassar. Fortunato said they were stuck waiting for information.
“I’m sure everyone is worried, after (the Marshall Fire),” Fortunato said.
Rock climber Mathew Sahli also got too close for comfort while climbing with friends on the south side of Seal Rock.
“Someone saw black smoke,” he said. “Then we saw the fire pop up above that. We went up and around on the west side of the formation. We went north and east to sneak around the fire. It was wild.”
Sahli said their reaction was to evacuate immediately. At the NCAR parking lot, they caught a ride with a truck driver. Who shuttled them down Table Mesa to the roadblock at Vassar.
Stefan Codrescu, who lives on Vassar Drive, was doing yard work when he heard police and fire sirens rushing up Table Mesa around 2:15 pm.
From the corner of Vassar and Table Mesa, he watched the smoke drift over the nearby mountains.
He said it was “a little alarming to have another one in the backyard,”, especially in wake of the Marshall Fire.