SILVERTHORNE, Colo. (CBS4) – All evacuation orders were lifted Thursday afternoon in Silverthorne as firefighters continue to secure the fire lines on the fire burning on Buffalo Mountain. Some of those allowed to return home will remain under pre-evacuation status.

When Kristy Vogt was placed on pre-evacuation notice, she took to her back yard grabbing a box of sidewalk chalk, and got to work.

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Soon neighbors like Cayman Pingley and her grandmother started to help. Grateful for the massive response to the fire burning behind their homes, they created a large “thank you” chalk art visible to the pilots flying missions overhead.

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“If I could I would hug every single one of them, but this will have to work for now,” Vogt told CBS4’s Matt Kroschel on Thursday.

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All residents were allowed to return home starting at 3 p.m. Thursday. Power and water have been restored in those neighborhoods.

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The Buffalo Fire quickly spread after it ignited on Tuesday, but was stopped from destroying homes by the fast work of pilots above dropping water and fire retardant.

Thursday evening and throughout the weekend residents should expect to see a heavy law enforcement presence in the area.

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The Buffalo Fire has burned 91 acres and is 20 percent contained. It started on Tuesday and put up a huge plume of smoke as it threatened the Wildernest and Mesa Cortina neighborhoods.


At the operations center at Silverthorne Elementary School, some other residents created a large spray painted thank you sign attaching it to the fence outside.

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Others turned to Facebook to offer assistance to those evacuated from their homes.

“The amount of people that were willing to come out and help pack her house and do things for us offered a place to stay it was overwhelming,” Vogt added.

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The cause is under investigation but officials have it was not lightning or another weather-related event that might have started it.

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Summit County is currently under Stage 1 Fire Restrictions and animal control reminds the public to keep pets from eating vegetation covered in fire retardant.

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Wildfire Resources

– Visit’s Living With Wildfire section.

Wildfire Photo Galleries

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


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