BOULDER – Officials in Boulder County believe a lightning strike is what caused a wildfire Tuesday that prompted the evacuation of more than 20 homes and put some residents within the city limits on notice.
During a media briefing Wednesday morning, officials said the Flagstaff Fire did not grow much Tuesday night and an infrared flyover shows it around 230 acres with zero containment.
The fire started in the county on Bear Peak and is burning 1 1/2 miles from city limits on the west side of the Flatirons.
On Wednesday, two hand crews will work the southwest side of the Flagstaff Fire to build fire lines while a total of seven aircraft manage and fight the flames from above. A total of 32 agencies and 250 people are involved.
Residents living in the area bordered by Dartmouth on the north, Broadway on the east, all the way to the south edge of town were put on pre-evacuation notice.
The City of Boulder has issued an additional 1,485 additional pre-evacuation notices to phone numbers within city limits to include the Shanahan Ridge neighborhood.
Boulder County says that automated-emergency alert went out to over 2,300 Boulder telephone numbers.
The Emergency Operations Center has activated a call center for residents and others impacted by the fire to obtain information. The phone number is 303-413-7730.
The fire is moving quickly towards the federally-funded research facility NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research). There are extremely dry conditions near this area.
A total of 28 households in the Pine Needle Notch Subdivision are being asked to leave their homes. Other residents along Flagstaff Road were asked to evacuate as well.
A shelter has been set up at Boulder Community Center. A total of 12 people stayed the night there Tuesday.
Residents are urged to take vital records and proof of residency when they leave.
The following roads are closed:
- Bison Drive from 800 to 5100 block
- Flagstaff Road from Baseline up to the 6000 block
The road closure at 6th and Baseline is a “soft closure” meaning residents can still get through but they have to have identification.
9NEWS Meteorologist Kathy Sabine says there were 51 lightning strikes in the area at the time the fire was first reported. The 911 dispatch center for the area received several calls from people witnessing strikes.
Smoke can be seen from the City of Boulder and surrounding areas.
If you would like to assist, contact the American Red Cross.
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