5 homes lost, but optimism remains over progress on Cold Springs fire

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BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. -- Two more homes have been destroyed in the Cold Springs Fire near Nederland, bringing the total to five, officials said Monday.

"To have this intense of a fire move that fast and to just lose five structures is pretty remarkable so people have a lot to be thankful for," Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle said during an afternoon briefing with homeowners. "I'm optimistic with the change in the weather that we'll have this thing knocked."

He believes firefighters should be able to get a perimeter around the fire and start working on containment in a couple of days.

"Currently, there are 65 structures within the fire perimeter," the Boulder County Sheriff's Office said Monday. "At this time, there are no identified homes in the immediate path of the fire. Shifting winds and high temperatures could potentially put more homes in danger."

The Boulder County Sheriff's Office identified the homes that have burned down:

  • 2315 Ridge Road
  • 2454 Ridge Road
  • 171 Bonanza Drive
  • 37 N. Sky View Drive
  • 325 Sherwood Drive

The fire has forced the evacuation of nearly 2,000 people.

The fire grew to 606 acres overnight, the Boulder County Office of Emergency Management said Monday morning. There is zero percent containment.

A red flag warning for the foothills and mountains in the area of the Cold Springs Fire near Nederland expired Monday night as crews dealt with warm, breezy weather.

Approximately 470 firefighters from several area fire companies fought the fire Monday along with 12 aerial crews.

Officials said crews will directly fight the fire in the Bonanza area and dig fire lines on several fronts Monday, including heavy engine work on Hummer Road and a line on Hurricane Hill.

On Sunday, two spot fires jumped over Highway 119 but crews were able to contain them in short order.

Additional fire trucks are being staged along Boulder Canyon to quickly battle any spot fires that might start from embers blown from gusty winds.

Several road closures remain in effect because of the fire, including Peak to Peak Highway from Gold Hill to Indian Peaks; Boulder Canyon from Sugarloaf to E Street in Nederland; Boulder Canyon to Peak to Peak Highway; Boulder County Road 126S at Peak to Peak Highway; and Boulder County Road 97 at Coal Creek Canyon.

Some roads are open to residents only, including Boulder Canyon from the base to Sugarloaf; and Sugarloaf from Boulder Canyon to Peak to Peak Highway;

Two men from Alabama were arrested Sunday in connection with the fire. Jimmy Suggs, 28, and Zackary Kuykendall of Vinemont, Ala., face felony arson charges, the sheriff's office said.

Investigators said the men told them they were camping on private property overnight Thursday into Friday morning and did not ensure their campfire was properly extinguished. One of the suspects led investigators to where they built a campfire and said it had to have been them that started the blaze because they were the only ones in the area.

The sheriff's office said it is seeing an increase in transient camping in that area.

"The issue is these sort of gypsy camps, you know, that pop up in the forest or in this case on private property," Pelle said. "This definitely was a fire that should have been extinguished and wasn't properly extinguished."

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