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Lime Gulch Fire Flares Up, Forces Evacuations In Jefferson County

Lime Gulch Fire
(credit: CBS)

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) - A wildfire that likely started from lightning on Tuesday and flared up intensely on Wednesday in a remote area of southern Jefferson County forced emergency evacuations.

Evacuations were ordered in the Lime Gulch Fire for a 3 mile radius, starting at the intersection of Foxton and River Road. Buffalo Creek Township is also being evacuated. There are about 100 evacations in place but no structures are currently in the fire's path.

Pre-evacuation orders are also in place for the Spring Creek Subdivision.

PHOTO GALLERY: Lime Gulch Fire

"All the evacuations went off without a hitch, all the people are accounted for. The good news is it's a very sparsely populated area so we were able to go door to door to make sure the evacuation was complete and everybody was notified," Jefferson County Sheriff Ted Mink said.

The fire is located in the Buffalo Creek area northeast of the town of Pine and south of Conifer and it's estimated at about 500 acres.

It was fueled by strong and inconsistent winds Wednesday, and more hot, dry weather is expected on Thursday.

There was a quick aerial attack on the fire Wednesday afternoon, with slurry drops by C-130s and helicopter water drops.

(credit: CBS)

The evacuation center is Evergreen High School.

Montana firefighter Steve Gibson arrived in Jefferson County on Wednesday after several days of battling the Black Forest Fire in Colorado Springs.

"I'll be excited to get back home but I'm also excited to be out here and make a difference," Gibson told CBS4.

Large animals that need to be evacuated were taken to the Jefferson County Fairgrounds. Small animals were taken to the Foothills Animal Shelter.

RELATED: Aerial Firefighting Teams Respond Quickly

Winds shifted to the southwest on Wednesday morning, bringing in drier air from the desert southwest to the Front Range. This caused fire danger to dramatically increase and it will be high for the next few days because of the low humidity and gusty winds, CBS4's Lauren Whitney said.

Most of the state, with the exception of the northeast quarter, will be under Red Flag Warnings Thursday.

Whitney said gusty winds up to 40 mph and humidity levels between 5 and 10 percent are expected.

Lime Gulch Fire Slurry Drop
A plane drops slurry on the Lime Gulch Fire. (credit: CBS)

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