2020 National Geographic Partners, LLC. Four days after the “best place to live” award, under high winds and a red flag warning, a new fire began, and a cloud of smoke mushroomed from a mountainside northwest of town. People who work on wildfires talk about the wildland-urban interface, or the WUI (pronounced woo-eee). ... New Lefthand Canyon Fire forces town of Ward to ... 2020. It had burned more than 190,000 acres—and an estimated 300 to 400 houses—before a snowstorm provided some relief on October 25. © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society, © 2015- Where I live, in Boulder, mid-October temperatures were still in the 80s. Over the weekend, snow put a damper on some of the Colorado fires. CLICK HERE TO TURN ON NOTIFICATIONS. The fire … The Lefthand Fire is east of Highway 72, 11 miles west-northwest of Boulder, and about a mile southeast of Ward. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. A cold front is expected to settle in at about dusk. All summer, my own sleep had been interrupted by fireworks—a favorite pastime in a nearby student neighborhood. He started at the Post in 1986, at the old building on 15th and California streets. (That blaze was followed the next day by another local fire, and more mountain evacuations.). Boulder wildfires update: Firefighters make…, Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window), Submit to Stumbleupon (Opens in new window). / Lefthand Canyon Fire at 303 acres. And according to the Denver Post, crews have not yet begun $4.2 billion worth of forest thinning and other projects the state has deemed “critical to protect people and property from fires.”. Over the past 15 years, the city of Boulder has thinned forests and conducted prescribed burns on 2,000 acres. Winds kept aircraft grounded in the morning, but aircraft were able to support suppression efforts in the afternoon when the winds died down. Peek was lucky too; her house survived. Small communities in the foothills evacuated. It seemed as though the fire might continue to spread east and south, into Boulder. Why have models of Colorado’s coronavirus trajectory been off? Location of the fire is 14,000 block of Lefthand Canyon Drive. Fire ground crews on Monday monitored for spot fires on the northside, in the South St. Vrain drainage, fire officials said. Red is the highest risk, blue is the lowest. The Lefthand Canyon Fire, reported around 1 p.m. in the 14,000 block of Lefthand Canyon Drive, has burned about 300 acres and led to evacuations in Ward, Gold Hill and Sunshine Canyon… It became the biggest fire in Boulder County history, at more than 10,000 acres. The Boulder Office of Emergency Management tweeted shortly after 1 p.m. that a fire had ignited in the 14000 block of Lefthand Canyon Drive near the town of Ward. (Update 10/26 12:45pm) Up to eleven inches of snow fell over the Cal-Wood fire Sunday according to the official Facebook page for it and the Lefthand Canyon Fire . The flames briefly crossed US 36, a main thoroughfare that heads north out of Boulder. Lefthand Canyon Fire at 303 acres ... 11/13/2020 Update on the CalWood Fire; 11/12/2020 Update on the CalWood Fire ... News; Roads; Special Events; Weather; Popular Tags. Almost a third of that happened in October, well outside what’s long been considered the normal fire season. The warning also covers Middle Park and South Park, it expires in those areas at 7 p.m. Wednesday. It became the biggest fire in Boulder County history, at more than 10,000 acres. Boulder wildfires update: Firefighters make progress with help of air support, Brush fire burns roughly 10 acres in Arapahoe County, Colorado looks to logging to help re-balance forests in an era of climate-triggered megafires, Cameron Peak Fire — Colorado’s largest wildfire on record — now 100% contained, The East Troublesome fire is 100% contained, New grant established to help Adams County adults earn college degrees, land top jobs, Colorado’s COVID-19 deaths starting to decrease after fall spike, The Spot: COVID relief delayed, police oversight in Denver and new presidential election data, Gov. “The city of Boulder is the definition of the WUI,” says Chris Wanner, forest ecologist for Boulder’s Open Space and Mountain Parks department. Almost all of Colorado is now experiencing severe, extreme, or exceptional drought. The fires near Boulder, at least, are now under control, and the region is blanketed in snow. Areas under the Action Day for Particulates alert are: Boulder, Douglas, Jefferson, Denver, western Arapahoe, western Adams, Broomfield, Larimer, and Weld counties. Pyrocumulus clouds from the East Troublesome Fire rise above Coal Creek Canyon in Colorado on October 21—just before the fire crossed the Continental Divide and roared into Rocky Mountain National Park. But the risk remains. The 460-acre fire is now 4% contained and started near the 14000 block of Lefthand Canyon Drive, the Boulder Office of Emergency Management said. This photo shows an area that had been in the path of the Cameron Fire, which also affected Rocky Mountain National Park. A water tanker helicopter flies past the CalWood fire on Monday Oct. 19, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. By Kieran Nicholson | knicholson@denverpost.com | The Denver Post The 460-acre fire is now 4% contained and started near the 14000 block of Lefthand Canyon Drive, the Boulder Office of Emergency Management said. It’s where neighborhoods meet natural areas. On Tuesday afternoon, the National Weather Service posted a Red Flag Warning for critical fire weather conditions, which includes the CalWood and Lefthand Canyon fires. Crews constructed containment lines… GET BREAKING NEWS IN YOUR BROWSER. Map data is automatically updated by government agencies and could lag real-time events. If east of the 14,000 block of … The Cameron Peak fire, burning in Larimer County, is also under the warning. Nearly 700,000 acres—almost 1,100 square miles—have burned in Colorado this year. The warning for the windy and dry weather expires in the northern foothills at 8 a.m. Thursday. Moring winds along higher peaks are in the 15 to 25 mph range and the wind is expected to back off in the afternoon. Firefighters battling the CalWood and Lefthand Canyon fires in Boulder County made progress on Monday with aircraft fire retardant drops made on the northside of Calwood and helicopter water drops made in the interior of Lefthand. My family and I were lucky last week; the fire never reached our neighborhood. Lefthand Canyon firefighters will continue building and improving containment lines Tuesday. The Calwood Fire … The CalWood fire, which started Saturday about 3 miles northwest of Jamestown, had burned 9,365 acres, more than 14 square miles, and the fire is 17% contained, fire officials said in a Tuesday morning update. “I was like, ‘You made sure that’s out, right?’” she said. Meanwhile, in the hills west of Boulder, the ponderosa pine forests are overcrowded and unhealthy, and they haven’t been allowed to burn in their natural fire cycles for more than a hundred years. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer) Oct 18. People fled as quickly as they could, loading horses into trailers, packing dogs and cats and valuables into cars. Troy Hagan, Peak to Peak CalWood Fire Containment Increases on Tuesday; Red Flag Warning Wednesday Current Situation: On Tuesday, both the CalWood and Lefthand Canyon fires were moderately active. The Boulder Fire Department, 4-mile Fire Department, Boulder County Fire Management, Boudler Open Space, Mountains Parks Rangers and Boulder County Sheriff's deputies responded to the call. Although the blazes in California and Oregon received more national attention over the summer, Colorado has been burning since July. In Boulder, residents of the flatter, more paved neighborhoods—the city proper—tend to think of the WUI as being up in what city planners call “the mountain backdrop.” That’s a fallacy. Updated: 4:39 PM CDT October 24, 2020 BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — The Lefthand Canyon Fire in Boulder County is now fully contained, firefighters said … But I think it’s somewhat easy to get complacent when you feel like, ‘I live in the city, it’s not going to impact me.’”, This sentiment was common in an unscientific poll I took, questioning a couple dozen friends who live on the west side of town. The 2020 Fires Relief Fund has been established, in partnership with Boulder County, to support individuals, families, and nonprofit organizations affected by the Cal-Wood and Lefthand Canyon Fires. Cloudy skies over the fire areas should help firefighters Tuesday morning, but sunny skies are expected in the afternoon, according to weather forecasters. Nearly 150 homes were ordered to … Boulder sits where the plains meet the mountains at a sharp angle, and it’s surrounded by a greenbelt—preserved in the 1960s by prescient city planners—that’s key to its allure. Donate now to 2020 Fires Relief Fund. Balch recalled watching with horror, not long ago, as a man put out a cigarette 20 feet along a trail near our houses. As I watched the progress of the CalWood fire last week, I was reminded of the Waldo Canyon fire in the summer of 2012. For only the second time in the 18 years I’ve lived here, on the southwestern side of town, my family packed go bags. Leave the area immediately if you are in those zones. “Every time one of these fires happens,” says Wanner, “it’s like, it could’ve been a little bit closer to town. Sonya Doctorian for CPR News The Cal-Wood fire Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020, in the foothills north of Boulder, as seen from Legion Park, which overlooks … Both our homes were orange. The fire burned 460 acres of brush and timber approximately one mile west of the town of Ward in the area of Lefthand Canyon and Spring Gulch in Boulder County, Colorado. Fire command plans to use aircraft again on Tuesday weather permitting. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has issued an air quality alert, because of smoke from the fires, through 4 p.m. Tuesday. But it takes time, money, and coordination between a host of different stakeholders. Christened the CalWood Fire for the beloved outdoor education center where it ignited—cause unknown but undoubtedly human—the blaze quickly grew. The flames briefly crossed US 36, a main thoroughfare that heads north out of Boulder. But all that lovely open space also poses a risk, even if we tend to underestimate it. People do incredibly stupid things, and they are not going to stop as the weather gets hotter and drier. The fire is in the 14,000 block of Lefthand Canyon Drive. “The time to prepare has always been now.”. “Do you feel like you are at risk from wildfire?” I asked, the Friday after the CalWood fire began. Jennifer Balch, a fire scientist and director of the Earth Lab at the University of Colorado Boulder, points out that while flood plain maps are commonplace, “we don’t have fire maps that direct development and insurance in the same way, so you don’t think about it when you buy your house.” Balch is also my neighbor; we both live near a trailhead where a five-minute walk up a grassy hill takes you into ponderosa pine forest. Jared Polis pardons Balloon Boy’s parents, grants clemency to 20 others, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. In a blog post she wrote that while waiting to learn if her house was still standing, she urged people to recognize the risks they faced and “make provisions.”, “Please don’t wait,” Peek wrote. — Boulder OEM (@BoulderOEM) October 24, 2020 The Boulder County Office of Emergency Management says northwest Boulder County is under a pre-evacuation order for the East Troublesome Fire. Find more information about incident types at the bottom of this page. “Everybody has their own risk tolerance,” Balch said, “and on some level some of that doesn’t make any sense.”. And bone-dry vegetation is increasingly likely in the age of climate change. Incident types are numbered 1-5 — a type 1 incident is a large, complex wildfire affecting people and critical infrastructure, a type 5 incident is a small wildfire with few personnel involved. PUBLISHED: October 19, 2020 at 10:23 a.m. | UPDATED: October 19, 2020 at 6:46 p.m. The Calwood Fire is the largest in Boulder County history. Updated: 2:39 PM PDT October 24, 2020 BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — The Lefthand Canyon Fire in Boulder County is now fully contained, firefighters said … Evacuation Order, for the Town of Ward and the areas north of Ward, Gold hill and the 10,000 block of Lefthand Canyon Drive. Firefighters battling the CalWood fire in the Boulder County … I was curious how Balch thought about the risk. Size is roughly 5 acres. All rights reserved. Updated: 5:39 PM EDT October 24, 2020 BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — The Lefthand Canyon Fire in Boulder County is now fully contained, firefighters said … I didn’t used to myself, until lately. “I generally feel this is a mountain community issue, but the jump of CalWood across 36 was a bit of a reality check,” said another. When they do finally burn, climate change will increase the odds of those fires getting big fast, like the ones this year. She pointed out the line of junipers that create a privacy barrier between the trailhead and a couple of homes that back to it. Click markers for details, use buttons to change what wildfires are shown. The city and county have been working to thin some of these areas, with selective logging and prescribed burns. “At some point, the conditions are going to be in the right place,” she said of our neighborhood and its chances of burning. “I've lived in Boulder on and off for 25 years and this is the first year I've worried about wildfire in Boulder,” one friend said. That fire, spurred by intense winds, jumped the Continental Divide, traveling across more than a mile of rocks and tundra shrubland and into Rocky Mountain National Park. It’s where people have increasingly chosen to live, and where wildfire risk is highest. The Lefthand Canyon fire started on October 18, 2020. Updated: 3:39 PM MDT October 24, 2020. BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — The Lefthand Canyon Fire in Boulder County is now fully contained, firefighters said … The Lefthand Canyon fire remains at 460 acres with 43% containment, while the Calwood Fire only grew by about 100 acres to 10,073 acres and remains 24% contained. SOURCE: NATIONAL INTERAGENCY FIRE CENTER, The same factors that led to disaster in California—climate change and a legacy of misguided forest management—are at play here too. The fire is occurring in the 14000 block of Lefthand Canyon Drive. The second is the Lefthand Canyon fire — the same name given to conflagrations in 2011 and 2019, among others — that currently measures in the … Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Balch showed me a new app called Defensible that maps fire risk on a color scale, building by building, across all 11 Western states. Updated: 4:39 PM CDT October 24, 2020 BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — The Lefthand Canyon Fire in Boulder County is now fully contained, firefighters said … Temperatures will be in the 70s at lower elevations, with 50s to low 60s at upper elevations. So did many people I know. It’s a question of when, not whether, a fire will come roaring into Boulder itself. Included in the evacuation order are residents of Spring Gulch Road and Gold Lake Road. Yet they’re common in neighborhoods throughout Boulder that were built in the ‘50s and ‘60s, when the fast-growing trees were popular. “We are right here. Ash had been falling for months and firefighting jets flew overhead most days—but until recently the fires themselves felt like something that happened elsewhere. Much of that growth is people who, like me, moved from larger metro areas—New York, Los Angeles, the Bay Area—for Boulder’s quality of life. PUBLISHED: September 14, 2020 at 6:14 p.m. | UPDATED: September 14, 2020 at 9:51 p.m. Fire crews contained a wildfire above Settler’s Park just west of downtown Boulder off Boulder Canyon … City residents who rarely worry about wildfire became uneasy. (Lucy Haggard, The Colorado Sun) Carrie Haverfield, spokeswoman for the Boulder Office of Emergency Management, said the fire has crossed U.S. 36. Earth Lab at the University of Colorado Boulder. — NWS Boulder (@NWSBoulder) October 18, 2020. Due to extremely low humidity and high winds on that date, the fire spread quickly and burned out of control for many hours into the next day. That kind of work can cost millions of dollars. It’s one of my favorite places in the world, and it’s primed to go up in flames. Since I moved here, in 2002, the population has increased by about 13 percent, to 106,000, and home prices have skyrocketed. As the CalWood Fire crept toward Boulder, Lori Peek found herself in the evacuation zone; she fled with her husband and dog “as spot fires ignited the parched land” on the mountainside behind her house. Kieran Nicholson covers breaking news for The Denver Post. Nicholson has covered a variety of beats including suburbs, courts, crime and general assignment. Hart Van Denburg/CPR News As the Calwood fire burns in the foothills north of Boulder, people gathered at a rural dirt crossroads Monday, Oct. 19, 2020 to watch firefighting progress. Health officials advise people to stay indoors if smoke becomes thick in their neighborhoods and around their homes. Boulder was in the national news for another reason: On October 13, U.S. News and World Report named it the best place to live in the entire country. The Boulder Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is actively responding to the CalWood Fire and Lefthand Canyon Fire in Boulder County, which are more than 10,500 acres combined, as of Friday, Oct. 23. The Lefthand Canyon fire, which started on Sunday about 1 mile east of Ward, is 470 acres and 4% contained as of Tuesday morning, according to InciWeb. It was 100% contained as of October 22, 2020. Then the CalWood fire raced downhill from the mountains to the plains. The Cameron Peak fire, now the largest in state history, has burned more than 207,000 acres since mid-August. For sure.”, Boulder, Colorado wakes up to the threat of worsening wildfires, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2020/10/boulder-isnt-ready-to-evacuate-for-wildfires.html. Yet few people here think about their risk. Containment lines were built along the southwestern edge of the fire in an attempt to “connect” CalWood with the 2003 Overland fire burn scar where fuels are relatively minimal. Flames crest over a ridge as the Cal-Wood fire burns east toward Boulder on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. The second-largest blaze in state history, the East Troublesome Fire, started on October 13—and a few days later grew by 140,000 acres in a single night. … The cause of the Cal-Wood Fire, the largest in Boulder County’s history, remains under investigation, as is that of the Lefthand Canyon Fire which is fully contained. The warning, starting Wednesday at noon, calls for wind gusts up to 40 mph with humidity readings as low as 12%. Peek happens to know a lot about risk, as a sociologist who studies disaster and directs the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado. Authorities received a report of a small grass fire at the base of the Canyon, which is adjacent to Boulder shortly after 3:30 p.m. The cause of both fires are under investigation. It does not take much to set bone-dry vegetation ablaze. RELATED: Extreme fire behavior expected over the … Junipers can burn fast and hot, shooting off embers. BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — Crews are continuing to work to contain the Calwood and Lefthand Canyon fires in Boulder County, which have impacted thousands of residents. Boulder OEM said the fire is … Three of the largest fires in state history have burned this year. NOTE: Data as of October 26, 2020. It’s been a sad, smoky few months in Colorado. Fire ground crews at Lefthand Canyon on Monday constructed fire containment lines in areas where fire retardant drops were made on Sunday, officials said. 2020 Fires Relief Fund. BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – A new wildfire in Boulder County sparked along Lefthand Canyon Drive on Sunday afternoon.The fire is being called the Lefthand Canyon Fire. It began in the hills outside Colorado Springs, but then it swept into the city, burning nearly 350 homes in suburban subdivisions. A second fire -- the Lefthand Canyon fire erupted Sunday near the town of Ward, about 15 miles southwest of Jamestown, Boulder OEM said in a tweet. The Fourmile Canyon Fire was first reported around 10 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 6, 2010 – Labor Day. But it’s certainly a lot less costly than putting out a fire that’s racing into town, let alone the potential damages if the fire can’t be put out in time. But some two dozen other dwellings burned in that fire, along with hundreds more in the other blazes. The median price of a home here is now about $1.125 million, and houses frequently receive multiple offers within hours of listing. Even as the CalWood fire burned, I woke to the sound of fireworks exploding, feeling overwhelmed by a mixture of rage and dread. Small Fire at the base of Boulder Canyon Boulder County, Colo. – On October 15, 2020 at approximately 3:36pm, the Boulder County Communications Center received several calls about a small grass fire at the 40 mile mark of Boulder Canyon. The Lefthand Canyon fire burns in rugged terrain on Sunday Oct. 18, 2020, off Peak to Peak Highway near Ward. With humidity readings as low as 12 % within hours of listing extreme or... Winds along higher peaks are in those areas at 7 p.m. Wednesday pardons Balloon ’. A damper on some level some of that happened elsewhere wildfire risk is highest an area that had been by. And they are not going to stop as the weather gets hotter and.. 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