Wildfires in Colorado while fire weather warnings affect 7 states

Red Flag Warning 2-10-2017 wildfire

Above: Red Flag Warnings and Fire Weather Watches affect seven states, February 10, 2017.

(UPDATED at 2:57 p.m. MT February 10, 2017)

Evacuations, earlier mostly lifted, have been reinstated for the wildfire west of Longmont, now named the Rogers Fire.

The name of the fire northwest of Boulder is Wagon Wheel Gap Fire.

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Originally published at 10:07 a.m. MT February 10, 2017.

While Red Flag Warnings and Fire Weather Warnings are in effect in seven states, two fires erupted early Friday morning just outside the warning area in Boulder and Longmont, Colorado.

Before 7 a.m. a grass fire started near the 5000 block of Nelson Road west of Longmont that forced the evacuation of 125 homes. It burned two barns and a haystack before firefighters stopped it at 15 acres.

Just after 8 a.m. a second fire broke out northwest of Boulder near the intersection of Lee Hill Drive and Wagon Wheel Gap Road that required the evacuation of 157 homes. At the last report at 9:10 a.m. it had burned three to five acres.

There is no indication so far that the two fires, 12 miles apart, are related.

The video below shows the fire near Boulder burning in steep terrain.

Strong winds that pushed the fires have also toppled semi-trucks across the state and left 3,960 customers without power in Boulder County.

It is unusual to have wildland fires burn structures and require evacuations only an hour or two after sunrise in mid February. Much of the front range in Colorado has had less snow than usual. When I drove through the area a few days ago there was virtually no snow on the ground near Colorado Springs, Longmont, and Denver, and these are areas above 5,000 feet.

Most of the Red Flag Warnings were issued around 5 a.m. on Friday and will expire at 5 to 6 p.m. local time today, depending on the area.

map fires longmont boulder
Map showing the location of fires near Boulder and Longmont, Colorado.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, Bill Gabbert now writes about it from the Black Hills.

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