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Conditions Leave Officials Wary Of Boulder's Flagstaff Fire

Jackie Fortier

At an estimated 230 acres, the Flagstaff Fire was sparked yesterday near the edge of Boulder. Air support was immediately called in to help squelch the fire, but concerns remain high due to two familiar factors: dry conditions and hot & windy weather.

As if picking a halfway point between the north's High Park Fire and the south's Waldo Canyon Fire, the Flagstaff Fire spread yesterday resulting in some mandatory evacuations along North Flagstaff Road and prompting pre-evacuation notices to part of Boulder.

Conditions are ripe statewide for fires as seen in fast starting fires like Estes Park and Last Chance. That's exactly what is top of mind with officials like Kim Kobel with the Boulder Police Department.

“The fire danger now is unprecedented. We are at extreme levels we’ve not seen for many, many years. The boulder fire department instituted severity patrols last week, were we have a brush truck with a crew of three patrolling the open space area in the outskirts of boulder. We have not done that in three decades.”

That concern carries over to fire behavior as well. Crews have been careful when approaching the edge of the Flagstaff, embers have been leaping upwards of a half a mile in front of the flames. Those embers could potentially cause spot fires.

Air support continues to be the heavy weapon of choice for fire managers. Today 7 aircraft will battle the Flagstaff, including 2 heavy air tankers.

Ground resources will continue to grow as well, a federal Type 1 management team will be assuming control of the fire tonight or tomorrow morning.

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