AURORA, Colo. — All evacuations in connection to the grass fire at Cherry Creek State Park were lifted Sunday evening as the winds died down and light snow moved in. On Tuesday, South Metro Fire said the fire was 100% contained.
South Metro Fire Rescue said residents were allowed back to their homes by 7:40 p.m. Sunday. They were evacuated around 5 p.m.
The fire stayed in park boundaries. By Monday morning, Colorado Parks and Wildlife said the fire was not growing, but a Red Flag warning would continue to be a challenge with the dry and windy conditions. The fire was 50% contained by noon and had burned about 234 acres, officials said.
Officials anticipated the fire would be fully contained by Monday night.
About an hour after evacuations were ordered, South Metro Fire said the eastern flank of the fire, which was closest to structures, was controlled, and there hadn't been any damage to homes. Crews continued to work on the western flank of the fire.
Temperatures dipped to about 13 degrees Sunday evening with 8 to 10 mph winds and a windchill of zero degrees. The conditions were cold enough to freeze water pumps on the fire engines.
Current conditions at Cherry Creek State Park: 13 degrees, winds 8-10 mph with windchill at zero. Conditions are cold enough to freeze water pumps on the fire engines. The fire remains very active, spreading toward the reservoir shoreline. #cowx pic.twitter.com/UNbg1QBDtM— South Metro Fire Rescue (@SouthMetroPIO) February 8, 2021
In the final update Sunday evening, South Metro Fire said snow was continuing to fall around the fire at 9:45 p.m. Two wildland engines stayed the night to mop up the fire and put out any hot spots.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) said Monday morning that the road will stay closed at the east entrance station to the shooting range as crews continue to work to mop up the fire. Residents may see smoke Monday as part of the fire suppression efforts.
The west side of the park closed to the public at 5 p.m. Monday. CPW said people with camping reservations can enter from the east entrance off Parker Road. The west side will reopen Tuesday.
This was the second major brush fire crews fought Sunday amid strong wind gusts in the metro area. A 100-acre grass fire near Bear Creek Lake Park and Fox Hollow Golf Course near Morrison prompted evacuations Sunday afternoon. The majority of the fire was out by late afternoon.