Officials: Buffalo Fire likely was human-caused

SILVERTHORNE, Colo. -- The Buffalo Fire that began burning near Silverthorne Tuesday and prompted the evacuation of more than 1,300 homes was human-caused, according to authorities.

A public information officer would not specify the exact cause of the blaze but instead listed a number of possibilities, including the idea a piece of glass thrown on the ground might have magnified and started the fire.

Similarly, the spokesman speculated that perhaps some insulation blew off a home and burned in the sun. Human pollution and human presence both fall under the umbrella of human-caused.

Compared to the large 416 Fire burning near Durango, the Buffalo Fire is fairly small, burning roughly 100 acres as of Wednesday.

But the fire came within about 200 yards of a subdivision that includes condominiums, apartments and pricey homes.

"This area, there is a lot of homes that are pretty tightly packed together," U.S. Forest Service spokesman Adam Bianchi said. "Being a resort town, there's a need for a lot of housing and there's only so much available space for good land to build on."

The fire has not destroyed any homes. Officials are crediting fuel breaks in helping contain the fire, a system that has been in place since 2007.

The fuel breaks are strips of land where vegetation has been removed to improve the ability of firefighters to control and advancing wildfire.

About 50 firefighters were battling the blaze initially, but more were on the way, along with heavy air tankers and helicopters.

Crews continue an aggressive air and ground response on Wednesday to contain the fire and protect homes in the area.

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