Lefthand Canyon Fire, 2nd fire in 2 days to break out Boulder County, now 450+ acres

(Associated Press)
Published: Oct. 18, 2020 at 1:42 PM MDT
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BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. (KKTV) - A Colorado town was evacuated over the weekend after a second wildfire in as many days sparked in Boulder County.

The Boulder Office of Emergency Management tweeted shortly after 1 p.m. Sunday that a fire had ignited in the 14000 block of Lefthand Canyon Drive near the town of Ward.

“We got a call from a neighbor in the area who saw flames and smoke," said Boulder County Sheriff’s Office Division Chief Mike Wagner in a briefing Sunday night.

The entire town of Ward, which has a population of about 150, was ordered to evacuate. Ward is about 20 miles west of Boulder.

Crews were able to divert aircraft intended for the CalWood Fire to the Lefthand Canyon Fire. Wagner said low clouds had prevented an aerial attack on the CalWood Fire Sunday, but the clouds lifted enough in the area of the Lefthand Canyon Fire to make the operation possible.

“It was interesting that there was an inversion, so there was low cloud cover on the lower part of the CalWood Fire, but it was much warmer and clearer above on the high point of the fire. Someone mentioned to me, I think in passing, that there was a 17-degree difference between the lower portion of the CalWood Fire and the upper portion, so that did allow aircraft to fly high, so that is what helped knock down the Lefthand Canyon Fire quickly.”

Monday, firefighters continued to make good progress, building fire lines around lines of retardant crews had put in place Sunday.

Tuesday, fire activity increased some, adding acreage to the fire. As of Wednesday morning, the fire is 459 acres and 4 percent contained.

A map of the fire, which shows the perimeter, its proximity to the CalWood Fire, and evacuation areas, can be viewed here.

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