NEDERLAND, Colo. (CBS4)– Fire crews made progress Wednesday in battling the Cold Springs Fire burning in Boulder County near Nederland. The fire was 80 percent contained as of 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Firefighters took the media behind the fire lines to survey the extent of damage. Eight homes were lost along with three outbuildings.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

“We knew this was going to be big,” said Cold Springs Fire Incident Commander Mike Smith.

The charred trees, downed power lines and burned homes are a grim reminder of the fire’s power.

“It was right down here, at the bottom of the hill,” said Smith as he described his initial contact with the fire.

Smith arrived 15 minutes after residents reported the fire. He said the wind and tinder box conditions kept fire crews in a defensive position for 36 hours. Mother Nature backed off enough to allow crews on the ground to make progress.

Smith also pointed out where slurry bombers targeted the ridge off Sugarloaf Road to the Peak to Peak Highway.

“A lot of people did great work. There was certainly a modicum of luck involved in this, there always is, but I think it’s a real tribute to people on the front lines,” said Smith.

Cold Springs Fire Incident Cmdr. Mike Smith (credit: CBS)

Cold Springs Fire Incident Cmdr. Mike Smith (credit: CBS)

He believes a combination of quick work and luck may have prevented a disaster.

“This could have been a Four Mile Fire incident all over again. We had the right people in the right places,” said Smith.

A home that was saved by fire crews in the Cold Springs Fire (credit: CBS)

A home that was saved by fire crews in the Cold Springs Fire (credit: CBS)

As a spotter plane flew over the survey area, Smith said for the first time in days, he and his fellow firefighters are feeling that the end is near, “You can certainly never tell about these things, but certainly feel much better.”

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Zack Kuykendall and Jimmy Suggs were arrested Sunday for failing to properly extinguish their campfire, the source of the Cold Springs Fire.

Earlier in the week bond was set for both men, who prosecutors deemed a flight risk, at $150,000 and $200,000. The two are from Alabama and both have criminal records.

Kuykendall and Suggs are facing arson charges, a felony due to the endangerment of people’s lives, and criminal trespass charges.

Wildfire Resources

– Visit CBSDenver.com’s Living With Wildfire section.

Wildfire Photo Galleries

– See images from the most destructive wildfires (Black Forest, Waldo Canyon, High Park and Fourmile) and largest wildfire (Hayman) in Colorado history.

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