Double Fork Fire cause undetermined, 100 percent contained as mop-up continues

PUEBLO COUNTY, Colo. (KKTV) - On a day where the state was warning of high fire danger, the town of Boone was evacuated as crews battled a brush fire in Pueblo County last Thursday. At least one man was taken to the hospital because of the blaze.

The blaze, named the Double Fork Fire, burned in the area of 55th Lane near Boone. According to the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office, it burned about 824 acres.

By 5 p.m. Friday, the fire was 100 percent contained. Deputies said favorable conditions helped with the containment overnight into Friday.

On Saturday, the sheriff's office said they had discovered where the fire began, but how it was ignited is undetermined at this time. Deputies said the strong winds the day the fire started makes it difficult to determine the exact cause.

As of Saturday, crews remained on scene mopping up hotspots and monitoring the area for any potential flare-ups.

The smoke from the fire forced the closure Thursday of Highway 50 and Highway 96 east of the Chemical Depot to Fowler, as well as Highway 209. All highways were back open by Friday morning.

At the height of the fire, about 230 homes were evacuated but were able to return by Thursday night. No structures were damaged in the fire.

At 5:38 p.m. Thursday, the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office said a man was taken to the hospital because of the blaze. Deputies confirmed Friday afternoon that he was transferred to a hospital in Aurora, where he remains in the ICU. A GoFundMe was set up for that victim. A link to that page can be found here.

The following air quality alert was sent out by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Thursday:

Issued for a Wildfire burning in northeastern Pueblo County
Issued at 4:30 PM MDT, Thursday, April 12, 2018

Issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

Affected Area: northeastern Pueblo County, northern Crowley County, and southern Lincoln County, including, but not limited to, the community of Boone.

Advisory in Effect: 4:30 PM MDT, Thursday, April 12, 2018 to 8:00 PM MDT, Thursday, April 12, 2018.

Public Health Recommendations: If smoke is thick or becomes thick in your neighborhood you may want to remain indoors. This is especially true for those with heart disease, respiratory illnesses, the very young, and the elderly. Consider limiting outdoor activity when moderate to heavy smoke is present. Consider relocating temporarily if smoke is present indoors and is making you ill. If visibility is less than 5 miles in smoke in your neighborhood, smoke has reached levels that are unhealthy.

Outlook: Areas of moderate to heavy smoke are possible on Friday afternoon due to a rapidly growing grass fire near the town of Boone. The heaviest smoke impacts will be in close vicinity of the fire, including Boone. Smoke will also move to areas northeast of the fire, mainly impacting rural parts of northeastern Pueblo County, northern Crowley County, and southern Lincoln County.

The sheriff's office is reminding residents to be cautious with controlled burns, open flames and with extinguishing cigarettes or other smoking materials. When Red Flag Warning days are in effect, residents should refrain from all burning.