Miners Candle Fire near Idaho Springs now at 50 percent containment

Miners Candle Fire burning near Idaho Springs on Dec. 5, 2021.
Miners Candle Fire burning near Idaho Springs on Dec. 5, 2021.(Clear Creek County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Dec. 5, 2021 at 9:57 AM MST|Updated: Dec. 6, 2021 at 1:07 PM MST
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IDAHO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Battling strong winds and timberbox conditions, firefighters gained 50 percent containment on a fire burning west of Denver.

Dubbed the “Miners Candle Fire,” the blaze sparked near Dumont in Clear Creek County about 6:20 Sunday morning.

The fire started in a home and spread from there. The vacant cabin and a second unoccupied structure were taken out shortly after the fire ignited, and evacuations were swiftly ordered for about two dozens homes in the area. As of Monday morning, those evacuations remain in place. Officials say along with the cabin and second structure, two outbuildings were also destroyed.

Firefighters were brawling with the winds from the get-go, with gusts reaching as high as 50 mph by mid-Sunday morning. The ferocious winds grounded all air support, making the firefight a land-only affair.

Crews finally got a reprieve from the wind as morning turned into afternoon, and county officials announced around 5 p.m. that the fire was halfway to full containment. As of the last report Monday, it remains at 50 percent containment.

The fire is currently estimated at about 15 acres, downgraded from the 20 reported Sunday.

The evacuated homes are on Miners Candle Road, Trail Creek Road, Sunny Skies Trail and Lamartine Road. It’s unknown if any of the houses are immediately threatened by the fire. An evacuation center has been set up at the school district office on 320 Highway 103. Animals can be taken to the Idaho Springs football field.

Clear Creek County is working an active wildland fire called the Miner's Candle Fire. The current evacuation areas are...

Posted by Clear Creek County Sheriff's Office on Sunday, December 5, 2021

“The local EMS knocked on the door and said we had an half-hour to get out, there was a fire ...t hen five minutes later he knocked again and said’“make that 15 minutes,’” evacuee Bill Miner told 11 News sister station CBS Denver.

Drivers can expect to see smoke Monday due to the fire’s proximity to I-70.

Fire officials continue to urge the public to be vigilant, with parched conditions across the state due to abnormally dry fall. Many places that would have normally seen snow weeks ago have yet to get anything measurable.

Until the state gets significant moisture, fire danger will remain high. An errant cigarette, sparks from a motor, a warming fire -- anything could start a wildfire.

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