Boulder Grass Fire 100 Percent Contained

Fire Threatened Homes; No Damage Reported

A wildfire burning west of Boulder is now completely contained, firefighters said Sunday.

Witnesses said the fire came within several hundred yards of homes, but appeared to be moving uphill to the west.

A reverse 911 call went out to homeowners in the area warning them to be prepared to evacuate, but no mandatory evacuations were ordered. No damage was reported, said Sarah Huntley, spokeswoman for the Boulder Fire Department.

Some homeowners near the fire voluntarily left their homes but returned when the fire was extinguished.

"We'll hose our house down tonight, just in case," said Charlie Anderson, a Boulder resident who had packed his bags just in case an evacuation was ordered. "Never hurts to be prudent. It'll help us sleep better tonight."

About 125 firefighters battled the fire by using hoses to water down the area and create a safety zone between homes and trees. A plane also dropped slurry.

Bystanders said the smoke filled the far end of the city, near the west end of Pearl Street.

Authorities said the blaze started in Settlers Park. The area is popular among hikers. The fire was likely human caused, Huntley said, but added it was too early to tell how.

Red Flag Warning In Effect

Much of the state is in a Red Flag warning since noon Sunday. A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are imminent or occurring, such as very low humidity levels combined with very warm temperatures and gusty wind conditions.

Above-average snowpack in the mountains doesn't necessarily translate into low wildfire danger, especially if forecasts for a warmer-than-normal spring and early summer hold true.

"Its very, very important for people to use caution," Huntley said.

Wildfire experts said the problem is the winter was short, which means the trees and plants absorbed less moisture than if the snow cover had been around longer.

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