BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. – Mandatory evacuations were ordered southwest of Longmont and several roads were closed to drivers for more than an hour after a wildfire ignited in the area Wednesday afternoon.
The mandatory evacuation order covered the areas east of the fire, between 55th and 63rd Streets, and between Niwot and Nelson Roads, with alerts being sent to approximately 327 people, according to Boulder County Sheriff's Office. Road closures were in effect from North Foothills and Nelson (east bound); 55th and Nelson; 63rd & Nelson; and Prospect and 63rd, according to the sheriff's office.
The fire, dubbed the Table Mountain Fire, was not threatening structures, deputies said, but they reminded residents to stay away from the area to give first responders room to work.
Data from the National Weather Service showed wind gusts in the area were around 36 mph at around 3:30 p.m.
Initial calls from residents to the sheriff's office reported the fire to be approximately 300 square feet in size. Areas east of the fire were then immediately evacuated, according to Boulder County Sheriff's Office Commander Vinnie Montez.
Two SEATs and one Type 2 helicopter from the state responded to the area to fight the blaze, Montez said during a news conference Wednesday afternoon. By 4:11 p.m., the sheriff's office tweeted that "firefighters have made significant progress on the fire."
By about 5 p.m., Montez said the wildfire had grown between 30 to 35 acres in size, he said, but the fire "dissipated considerably" and the fire team fighting the blaze decided to give the all-clear by about 4:47 p.m. In a news release late Wednesday afternoon, deputies said the wildfire had grown to 52 acres in size.
"Public safety officials have determined there is no life, safety, or property threat from the fire," the sheriff's office tweeted, telling residents they could go back home.
Montez urged residents to be extremely careful and cognizant of their neighbors and "follow the rules as we head into summer."
The National Weather Service issued a long-term forecast on Wednesday afternoon, warning of a "potentially major weather event" on Friday across northeast Colorado, which is expected to bring "extremely dangerous fire-weather conditions... damaging winds... widespread blowing dust... thunderstorms... and mountain snow" to several parts of the state.
The origin and cause of the fire is being investigated by the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office and fire investigators.