Thousands of Boulder County residents have been forced to flee their homes due to the NCAR wildfire.
BOULDER, COLORADO (AP) — In southern Boulder, a wildfire broke out on March 26 near the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).
The fire, dubbed the NCAR fire, is being fought by the Boulder fire department. Saturday at 2 p.m., a fire broke out. The fire had expanded to more than 120 acres by 5:30 p.m. and had zero percent control.
As of 7 p.m., no buildings had been damaged or destroyed. In a news conference, Brian Oliver, the wildland fire division head for Boulder Fire Rescue, said that the major objective of the firefighting efforts was to save residences. The fire came within a few hundred yards of residences, according to Oliver.
In the early aftermath of the fire, around 1,200 people were advised to leave, but the evacuation area swiftly spread along with the fire. The evacuation zone had grown to 19,000 people and 8,000 houses by 5:30 p.m., largely in the Table Mesa region.
An up-to-date map of the evacuation region may be seen here.
At the East Boulder Community Center, the Boulder Office of Emergency Management put up an evacuation centre (5660 Sioux Drive). The facility will also act as a refuge for the night. Pets are permitted.
Large animals are accepted at the Boulder County Fairgrounds (9595 Nelson Road in Longmont), while smaller pets and companion animals are accepted at the Humane Society of Boulder Valley (2323 55th St. in Boulder).
For updates, follow the Boulder Police Department and NWS Boulder on Twitter.
The NCAR Fire began around three months after the Marshall Fire, which began on Dec. 30, 2021, and burned over 1,000 residences in Boulder County. The region where the Marshall Fire originated is included in the NCAR Fire’s evacuation zone.
According to Boulder CAST Weather, since the Marshall Fire, Boulder County has experienced the wettest start to a year in terms of snowfall (about 75 inches).
BoulderCAST Weather meteorologists measured wind gusts of high to 30 mph near the NCAR Fire at 4 p.m. Saturday. For contrast, wind gusts during the Marshall Fire reached 100 mph.
Around 5 p.m., the gusts began to slow down, making the firefighting job less difficult. The NCAR Fire was responded to by firefighting aircraft, which dropped retardant on the flames and the fire’s perimeter. Because of the severe winds, the aircraft were not an option during the Marshall Fire.
“We appreciate our firefighters and first responders’ quick action and reaction to this blaze.” “In a statement, Governor Jared Polis stated. “State authorities met with Sheriff [Joe] Pelle this afternoon, and the state has sent two firefighting planes, including a single-engine tanker and a type 2 helicopter, to help with the response. We’ll keep an eye on the issue as it develops.”
From the debris left behind by the Marshall Fire, the billowing smoke of the NCAR Fire could be seen.
Boulder County Democrat U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse urged residents to comply with evacuation instructions.
This is a breaking news item that will be updated as more information becomes available.