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Wildfire Forces Hundreds Of Evacuations In Boulder

BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) - A wildfire has forced the evacuation of many homes in Boulder.

Someone spotted the fire on a hillside near Sunshine Canyon and Timber Lane at 1:40 a.m. Sunday and 1,031 notifications went sent out to to 426 homes or properties. The evacuation orders will remain in place until at least Monday morning.

(credit: CBS)

Just before 1 p.m. the Sunshine Fire measured 62 acres. Containment was bumped up to 50 percent late Sunday afternoon.

The evacuation zone is from 4th Street to the east, Poorman Road to the west, Highway 119 to the north and Sunshine Canyon to the South. The fire has not damaged any homes but homes are threatened. Evacuees were initially told to go to Boulder High School, but the location has been changed to the East Boulder Community Center. The Red Cross is staging there.

The Boulder County Fairgrounds is accepting large animals from the evacuation zone beginning at 9 a.m. Small animals, if crated, can be brought to the community center.

Sunshine Fire Copter
(credit: CBS)
Sunshine Fire Cop678ter
(credit: CBS)

Authorities say there are no injuries at this time due to the incident.

Boulder Canyon was closed at 9th Street for much of the day but was re-opened before 2pm.

"It's scary," said evacuee Tom Blumenthal, who lives three blocks from the burn area.

Blumenthal said he is worried because there are a lot trees around his home.

An aerial attack on the fire started at first light. As of 8:30 a.m., a total eight aircraft were either actively fighting or en route to fight the fire, according to the Boulder County Office of Emergency Management.

There are multiple fire departments on scene, including personnel from the Boulder Rural Fire Protection District, the Boulder Fire Department and the Sheriff's Fire Management Program. Crews from other departments across the northern Front Range and metro area are also being called in, and the state's Emergency Operations Center has been activated.

Sunshine Canyon Fire 3 (Michael David Ackerman from Boulder Canyon, Sun sunrise)
[anvplayer video="3638239"]
Sunshine Canyon Fire 2 (Michael David Ackerman from Boulder Canyon, Sun sunrise)
(credit: David Ackerman)

"There's a lot of steep terrain, rocky terrain. (It's difficult) to get crews back into some of those areas," Mike Wagner with the Boulder County Sheriff's Office said.

Helena Small and her family were also among those evacuated.

"We had to just get all our stuff and just leave really quickly in the middle of the night. It's kind of scary because you could see all the smoke and the fire," Small said.

The smoke itself was enough to wake up Nora Ahmed-Kamal.

"I just woke up this morning and I just felt the smoke. So I actually woke up from the smoke," she said.

There is a Red Flag Warning Sunday for all of the Denver metro area, northern Front Range Foothills and adjacent communities. Wind gusts could boost up to 35 mph along with single digit relative humidity.

Additional Resources

The Humane Society of Boulder Valley is providing temporary shelter for dogs, cats and small animals of people affected by the Sunshine Fire in Boulder County. Currently dogs, cats, and small animals are permitted to stay with their families at the evacuation center at East Boulder Community Center. Affected families who need another temporary housing option for their dog, cat or small animal, should bring the animal to the Humane Society of Boulder Valley at 2323 55th Street in Boulder during business hours. Additionally food and supplies are available for families in need.

Wildfire Resources

- Visit's Living With Wildfire section.

Wildfire Photo Galleries

- See images from the most destructive wildfires (Black Forest, Waldo Canyon, High Park and Fourmile), the deadliest (Storm King) and largest wildfire (Hayman) in Colorado history.

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