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Wildfire info
A five-acre fire is burning by Button Rock Reservoir near Lyons. This is a slow moving fire in an uninhabited area. Firefighters are on the scene.

Another fire is burning in Lefthand Canyon near the shooting area, about 3.7 miles up the canyon. This fire is producing lots of smoke, some evacuations have been ordered.

We will post more information here as it becomes available. You can also go to the Boulder Office of Emergency Management's site.

This is a link to stream the radio broadcasts of the Boulder County Sheriff's Department: http://www.radioreference.com/apps/audio/?ctid=247

For updates specific to fire activity and suppression efforts, go to http://inciweb.org/incident/2154/

3/12/11, 10 AM: From the Boulder OEM's site: The United States Forest Service has taken control of the fire suppression efforts. They report the fire is 60% contained. Fire crews and the Boulder County Sheriff's Office are hopeful that evacuees should be allowed back in their homes sometime this afternoon.

Lefthand Canyon between U.S. 36 and James Canyon remains closed for fire crews to be able to move equipment through the area. Residents will need to provide identification and proof of residency in that area when returning to their homes.

A heavy tanker is in the air helping fight the fire. A helicopter, capable of carrying 1,000 gallons of water, should be in the air soon for additional support.

There will be a media briefing at 11 AM this morning.

6:45 PM: The Lefthand Fire is now 25 percent contained and has been declared "human caused" by U.S. Forest Service officials. Some evacuation orders have been lifted. Backburns will create heavy smoke overnight, and the Boulder OEM has issued an air quality advisory.

The USFS is reporting that the fire is now close to 200 acres in size. According to officials in the area, there are twelve structures, assumed to be residences, that are currently threatened by fire movement. Are all located on the north side of Lefthand Canyon Rd. between Olde Stage Rd. and the entrance to Heil Ranch Open Space. Each of the structures has a structure protection team on-site to help address any approaching fire movement. There has been no actual fire contact on these properties.

2:15 PM: KGNU's Nikki Kayser was at the media briefing and gave this report:

Evacuated households who have pets that they want to retrieve from their homes can go up to their residence with an animal escort. The Boulder County Sheriff's Office Animal Control is coordinating escorts from the incident command center at U.S. 36 and Lefthand Canyon Dr (Greenbriar Inn parking lot). Please do not go to this area unless you have a specific personal need to be there. This is also where we are staging firefighting equipment and personnel, so we need to keep the area open for emergency access at all times.

An air tanker has been ordered out of New Mexico and is on it's way with an expected arrival of 3:30 p.m. Firefighters will assess wind conditions before determining if air support is possible.

A call center for residents is available at 303-413-7730. Please do not call 9-1-1 unless it is an emergency. Anyone who lives in or around the area affected by the road closures and evacuations, or who is impacted by the events related to the fire, should contact the call center for assistance.

Homes on the north side of Lefthand Canyon Drive have been ordered evacuated, more specifically, homes from the 3000 block of Lefthand Canyon Drive to Foothills Highway.

Evacuees are encouraged to check in at an evacuation center at the YMCA at 28th and Mapleton in Boulder.

Notification messages are also being sent from south of Lefthand Canyon Drive to Middle Fork Road. Residents are there are encouraged to remain alert and be prepared to evacuate, if emergency officials determine that is necessary for public safety reasons.

* Lefthand Canyon Dr. is closed form U.S. 36 to James Canyon.
* Mandatory evacuations have been called for approximately 223 households in the Lefthand Canyon Dr. area, include Lake of the Pines subdivision to the north.
* Large animals are being evacuated to Boulder County Fairgrounds in Longmont
* A call center for residents is being established. The phone number will be 303-413-7730 when it is activated.

12:05 PM: According to the Daily Camera, officials are working to close Lefthand Canyon from Hwy. 36 west to James Canyon Drive.


Created:03/11/11, Modified:03/12/11, expires:03/12/11, priority:1