BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) — The Lefthand Canyon Fire is 60 percent contained. All have been lifted. The wildfire has burned 400 acres since it broke out in the foothills west of Boulder Friday morning.
Officials say they focused Saturday on strengthening and extending their containment lines around the blaze in Lefthand Canyon. The remaining evacuees were allowed to return home at 5 p.m. Saturday.
Fire officials said the fire is human caused, but have not released any additional details as the investigation continues. One air tanker and a helicopter were being used in addition to 150 firefighters on the ground.
Firefighters started setting back burns on Lefthand Canyon Drive from Olde Stage to the target practice area Friday evening. Heavy smoke was visible as a result of this fire suppression effort.
Subdivisions north of Lake of the Pines, including Lake of the Pines, were reopened at 4:40 p.m. Friday. The evacuation area from Geer Canyon to Highway 36 is reopened and residents are being allowed back into that area.
The fire is burning about 3.5 miles up Lefthand Canyon Road in thick brush.
Twelve homes and six other buildings were threatened, but none have been damaged.
“The firefighters did construct a couple of back burns to eliminate some of the fuel between homes and the fire that’s burning. By doing the back burns they can burn towards the fire and when the fire gets to that burned area it can stop because there is no more fuel to ignite,” said U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Maribeth Pecotte.
An air tanker dropped fire retardant and a helicopter dropped water on the fire Saturday.
The Red Flag Warning for the area expired at 6 p.m. Friday.
Watch a news conference with a briefing from the U.S. Forest Service below.
Earlier on Friday firefighters were battling a wildfire on about 3 acres of open land near Lyons. One home was evacuated for a short time. That fire was completely extinguished by 5:30 p.m. Friday.
Strong winds along with dry weather have increased the Front Range fire danger. A red flag warning was in effect through 6 p.m.
The fire danger along the Front Range was listed at Moderate to Very High for March 11, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
Link: Wildfire Resources