Thousands evacuated as wildfire threatens Boulder, Colorado

Thousands evacuated as wildfire threatens Boulder, Colorado

A wildfire broke out early Sunday morning, March 19, 2017, near Boulder, Colorado prompting officials to order the evacuation of thousands of people. The fire, named Sunshine Fire, was 50% contained by the end of the day.

According to the Boulder County Sheriff's Office, a man first reported seeing flames burning on the side of a nearby mountain around 01:30 MDT (07:30 UTC).

The fire quickly expanded to over 25 hectares (62 acres) and was 20% contained by the afternoon. There were no reports of lost or damaged properties, or of any injuries, Boulder Office of Emergency Management said 17:16 MDT (23:16 UTC). By 18:22 MDT (00:22 UTC), the fire was at 50% containment.

"The evacuations and pre-evacuation alerts will remain in place overnight while firefighters continue to fight pockets of intense heat and potential flare-ups in the interior of the Sunshine Fire. Winds will be a factor overnight, and active fire spots could reappear between now and tomorrow morning," Boulder OEM said.

Video courtesy Weather Nation

Video courtesy Live Storms Media

As a result of current and forecasted fire and weather conditions, the evacuations of 426 homes that have been in place since early this morning will not be lifted overnight. 

The fire appears to be human-caused, Boulder County sheriff's officials said late Sunday.

Fire officials plan to reassess the evacuations in the morning, with an update expected around 08:00 MDT (14:00 UTC).

Featured image: Wildfire threatens Boulder, Colorado on March 19, 2017. Credit: NBC/9NEWS

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