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Aggressive Air Attack On Flagstaff Fire Continues, Rainfall Wasn’t Enough

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Fire crews dig a containment line around the Flagstaff Fire burning near Boulder. (credit: CBS)

Fire crews dig a containment line around the Flagstaff Fire burning near Boulder. (credit: CBS)

GALLERIES: COLORADO'S WORST WILDFIRES

BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – The Flagstaff Fire in Boulder was 30 percent contained Wednesday evening. A combination of more favorable weather conditions and the effectiveness of the fire fighting effort has decreased concern for the fire to move into the city of Boulder.

Wednesday evening Boulder officials lifted the pre-evacuation notice for the neighborhoods in south Boulder.

Residents in areas bounded by Dartmouth Avenue to the north, Greenbriar Boulevard to the south, Table Mesa Drive and the foothills on the west, and Broadway on the east were asked yesterday to be ready to evacuate.

Boulder County Sheriff’s spokesman Rick Brough said the fire is estimated at 280 acres and is burning in rough terrain. So far there is no containment on the fire, which is near Bison Drive east of Walker Ranch and about mile and a half from the city.

There was some rainfall Wednesday afternoon but not enough to help fire crews in their efforts.

RELATED VIDEO: Flagstaff Fire Wednesday Evening Update

“We didn’t get a lot of movement with the fire, we were expecting some high winds up there with the new storm moving through, at this point we haven’t gotten that. What we did get was five minutes of heavy rain and we got two minutes of hail up there. So that does help in some ways, it helps to keep the fire where it’s not moving it’s kind of laying it down. But the amount of rain we got isn’t going to make that much difference in the moisture content or the fuel,” said Boulder Sheriff’s Office spokesman Rick Brough.

People living along the Open Space area near Bear Peak were asked to turn on their sprinklers and keep them on to help keep the fire from spreading.

PHOTO GALLERY: Flagstaff Fire

An aggressive air attack on the fire continues Wednesday. Seven aircraft are involved, a mixture of air tankers and helicopters. There are 250 personnel working on the fire, but Brough said the most effective way to battle this so far has been by air.

“Our focus is going to be on reenforcing defensible space on the west end of town protecting structures if the fire comes down the hill,” said Boulder Police Dept. spokeswoman Kim Kobel.

A lightning strike is suspected to have started the fire on Tuesday.

There were 20 homes that have been evacuated from the fire. Twelve people stayed at the evacuation center overnight, located at the East Boulder Community center.

img 0899 Aggressive Air Attack On Flagstaff Fire Continues, Rainfall Wasnt Enough

Henry Bremers took this photo on Tuesday.

Flagstaff Road is being used for transport of firefighting equipment. Public access is restricted or closed along the road until further notice.

A call center has been set up for residents to get information about evacuations, road closures, and animal care — (303) 413-7730.

photo 3 Aggressive Air Attack On Flagstaff Fire Continues, Rainfall Wasnt Enough

Fire trucks parked near the Flagstaff Fire on Wednesday. (credit: CBS)

The Boulder Valley Humane Society was taking in small animals.

All open space and recreational areas from Eldorado Springs to Boulder Canyon are closed until further notice. The National Center for Atmospheric Research has voluntarily evacuated.

Wildfire Resources

- Visit CBSDenver.com’s Wildfire Resources section.

- Read recent Wildfire stories.

Wildfire Photo Galleries

- See images from the most destructive wildfires (High Park Fire and Fourmile Fire) and largest wildfire (Hayman Fire) in Colorado history.

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