LIVERMORE, Colo. (CBS4/AP) – Firefighters announced major progress in the battle against the Stuart Hole Fire burning on 227 acres in Northern Colorado on Tuesday afternoon.
Officials said the fire was 45 percent contained and that they have lifted the evacuation orders. They also announced that the fire was started by lightning.
Residents in 13 Larimer County homes in the Boxer Ranch Subdivision were allowed to return home at 6 p.m. Tuesday. It looks likely now that there will be no evacuations for residents of 53 other houses that were warned on Monday to be ready to leave.
The Larimer County Sheriff’s Department warned that the fire active and not fully contained. They want everyone to be prepared in case they are asked to evacuate again.
Two or three outbuildings have been damaged or destroyed in the fire.
Firefighters from Greeley and metro Denver, a hot shot crew, and Canon City inmates were fighting the blaze Tuesday along with a small air tanker and two helicopters.
“The fire is kind of hung up in rocky, remote terrain,” said Larimer County Sheriff’s spokesman Tony Simons on Tuesday just before noon.
Jason Gilette and his family are in the area that was on standby to evacuate. After receiving a reverse 911 warning of the possible evacuation on Monday they gathered items and put them in their truck and then left their home, taking their six yaks with them.
“All the stuff in the house can be replaced, but not these guys,” Gilette told CBS4 from a safe spot farther away from the fire where the yaks were grazing in the evening.
Gilette said the area where they live started getting very smoky in the afternoon, which factored into their decision to leave their home voluntarily.
The evacuation center for the fire is the Livermore Community Hall located at 1985 West County Road 74E. Larimer County Emergency officials have set up a hotline for residents affected by the fire. That number is (970) 498-5500.
There have been no reports of injuries.
The fire is about 10 miles north of the Hewlett Fire that scorched about 12 square miles last month. That fire actually also flared up on Monday. Wildland officials had warned that conditions were such that unburned spots within the Hewlett Fire perimeter could catch fire, sending smoke in the air. The Hewlett fire is contained but not controlled.
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