The Flagstaff Fire Is Estimated At 300 Acres, No Containment
The Flagstaff fire is estimated at 300 acres and was suspected to be sparked by lightning. Resources have been deployed including air support to fight back the fire right outside of Boulder.
Via Kirk Siegler from the media briefing:
The fire is burning in upper Skunk Canyon, just west of the NIST/NOAA campus. One of the main concerns for officials is the blaze’s proximity to the city of Boulder and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). Boulder Police spokesperson Kim Kobel says the priority for now is structure protection.
"The good news is NCAR’s done a lot of mitigation so a lot of the fuels have been taken away from that area and that would give us a chance."
Crews did make some progress attacking the blaze from the air despite the squirrely winds. Two tankers, including a MAFFS C-130, and several helicopters worked the fire until sunset.
As dusk neared the fire continued to send up an impressive plume of smoke, casting eerie shadows over the flatirons. Evacuee Conor Scanlon watched nervously from a nearby police roadblock at Chautaqua Park.
Scanlon tried to be optimistic. "It’s reassuring to see all the slurry bombers up here and since we had half of the federal firefighting forces in the nation in Colorado already it was a pretty good week to have a backyard fire."
Indeed, a federal Type 1 Management team that was already stationed in the Denver area will take over the fire on Wednesday.
At this time only 26 homes have been evacuated near Bison Drive and Kossler Lake. No structures are threatened at the moment, but there will be 100 firefighters on the ground doing structure protection overnight.
From Boulder OEM:
The Red Cross has closed the evacuation center at New Vista High School and established an evacuation center and overnight shelter at the East Boulder Community Center, 5660 Sioux Drive. People impacted by the fire who need information and/or a place to stay overnight are encouraged to go to that location.
There is a media briefing at 8:30pm this evening. We hope to have more details on the status of the Flagstaff Fire after the brief. Reporter Kirk Siegler is on site in Boulder, you can follow @KirkSiegler for updates on Twitter.
A call center has been activated for residents and other affected by the Flagstaff Fire. The phone number is 303-413-7730.
Additional pre-evacuation notices have been sent out, the count on this round is 1,485. These are in addition to the previous 931 notices sent. The area that received the calls is inside Dartmouth to the north, Greenbriar to the south, Table Mesa and foothills on the west and Broadway on the east. Officials again ask that residents be ready to evacuate quickly. It should be noted that these remain PRE-evacuation notices.
User callio44 uploaded this time lapse of the fire to YouTube, video was taken about an hour after the blaze started.
Some pre-evacuation notices went out to 931 numbers. The area that received calls is bordered by Dartmouth on the north, Broadway on the east, all the way to the south edge of town. Officials ask that people be ready to evacuate quickly should the call come. Again, these are PRE-evacuation notices.
Here is a link to stream scanner traffic from Boulder County emergency services.
Via the Boulder OEM, here are the road closures: Bison Drive from 1000 block West & Flagstaff Rd. from Baseline & 6th Ave.
The Boulder Daily Camera is reporting that there are mandatory evacuations for the 5000 block of North Flagstaff Road. Evacuees are being asked to go to the
New Vista High School (update: The new evacuation center is East Boulder Community Center).
We've launched a Storify to cover this fire.