LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) - Mandatory evacuations have been lifted as of Saturday at 4:30 p.m. for the 37E Fire burning in Larimer County, north of Lyons. Fortunately, air surveillance resulted in a better idea of the size of the fire.
"Residents may return home, but we ask that you stay current with the fire activity," the sheriff's office said.
Larimer County Sheriff's officials say the fire is now about 114 acres, down from around 300 on Friday. It is also 85% contained as of Sunday afternoon.
With a warm, dry, and windy weather forecasted ahead, fire officials said crews worked with an extra sense of urgency Saturday. One major area of focus was the east side of the fire, which is more heavily forested and filled with downed trees, branches, and other fire fuels.
"Our efforts today have been to secure the line so with that anticipated weather, it's not going to get out," said Sgt. Derek Rosenquist with the Larimer County Sheriff's Office's Emergency Services Unit. "It's always a scary thing to say, but the work that I've seen up there, I'm feeling a lot more confident now than this morning."
The sheriff's office says they're not aware of any structures lost in the fire.
"I was so relieved," said Dawn Henley, who returned to her home on Vision Way Saturday evening. "I started to cry just as soon as I started driving up towards my house on the road."
The 37E Fire has forced the closure of 71N (Blue Mountain Road) at the intersection of Highway 36 and N. 53rd Street, at the intersection of Highway 66. Residents on Moss Rock Drive on both sides of the Larimer-Boulder county line and those living south and east of County Road 37E to the Larimer-Boulder county line were evacuated.
Voluntary evacuations were lifted for those on Chimney Hollow Road east to County Road 31 and north to Sprague, the sheriff's office said on Saturday.
An evacuation point was set up in the Lifebridge Church parking lot, located at 10345 Ute Hwy in Longmont.
Copter4 flew over the fire, located about 3-4 miles north of Lyons, that was sending up a huge plume of white smoke along the Front Range. Airtankers could be seen making water drops on the fire and others dropping fire retardant to keep the flames from spreading.
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