Spring has just started, and already a wildfire has forced more than 19,000 Coloradans to evacuate. The Colorado fire was just south of Boulder, not far from where a 2021 wildfire destroyed over a thousand homes.
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By Monday, officials lifted the evacuation order, and people were allowed back. But as of Monday morning, 189 acres had been torched, and the fire was just over a third contained.
“While it is now safe to return home, people in the area of the fire should remain vigilant,” said the Boulder Office of Emergency Management webpage. “Fire officials do not anticipate fully extinguishing the fire for several days. It is possible that the (city may) issue new evacuation orders if conditions deteriorate.”
For residents who live in wildfire country, the back-and-forth aspect of emergencies and evacuations is hard to bear. “I feel exhausted by all of this, and I just feel like enough as far as these fires and disasters,” one local told HuffPost.
The fire started Saturday afternoon. It burned protected lands near the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). Dubbed the NCAR Fire, the blaze came within a thousand yards of houses on Boulder’s west end but did not take any lives, cause injuries or burn any structures. So far, the cause is undetermined.
Considering the megadrought in the West, predictions for the upcoming fire season don’t look much better. “I think this is just a sign of the way things are going to go,” said Mike Smith, wildland fire specialist for Boulder Fire Rescue and NCAR Fire incident commander, as reported by ABC News. “We continue to work on our planning processes. We continue to work on team building and work with our partners to make sure that we’re as dialed as we can be. We’re feeling good, but we’re a little nervous about the upcoming season.”
Lead image via Pixabay