3 major wildfires continue to burn in Colorado

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BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. -- Three major wildfires continued to burn in Colorado on Tuesday.

Fire crews were battling fires from the northern part of the state, in Boulder County and to the south in Fremont County. Hot temperatures, low humidity and windy conditions in the state have not helped getting the fires under control.

The fires led the several thousand people having being evacuated, including nearly 2,000 because of the Cold Springs Fire near Nederland. On Tuesday morning, the first evacuation orders were lifted for residents in the Sugarloaf and Magnolia areas.

Beaver Creek Fire

The Beaver Creek Fire northwest of Walden was at 19,264 acres and only 5 percent containment as of Tuesday morning, the Rocky Mountain Area Coordination Center said.

The fire, which started June 19, is expected to continue moving north over the next several days and into Wyoming. More than 230 firefighters are working on the fire, which is not expected to be contained until mid-October.

The fire is burning mostly through beetle kill. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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Cold Springs Fire

The Cold Springs Fire northeast of Nederland was at 566 acres and 0 percent containment on Tuesday morning. That was down from a reported 606 acres on Monday.

The fire did not grow overnight, being held within the current perimeter. Crews are continuing to work on structure protection. There are 65 structures within the perimeter, the Boulder County Sheriff's Office said.

Nearly 2,000 people have been evacuated, and eight homes and seven outbuildings have been destroyed. Officials placed the cost of battling the fire at $1.7 million as of Monday afternoon.

More than 300 firefighters and two dozen aircraft have been deployed to battle the blaze.

Two men from Alabama have been arrested for allegedly starting the fire.  The sheriff's office said 28-year-old Jimmy Suggs and 26-year-old Zackary Kuykendall, both of Vinemont, Ala., have been charged with fourth-degree arson, a Class 4 felony.

Suggs told told investigators “It had to been us” because the men and a woman were the only ones in the area where the blaze likely began, according to an arrest affidavit.

RELATED: Arrest affidavit for Cold Springs Fire

Suggs told investigators the men had not put dirt on a campfire, only rocks.

“Both Suggs and Kuykendall had a discussion about doing more to put out the fire but ultimately decided not to,” the affidavit said.

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Hayden Pass Fire

The Hayden Pass Fire in Fremont County was at 12,012 acres and 0 percent containment on Tuesday morning. The fast-growing fire, which started Friday because of a lightning strike, is burning in heavy beetle kill.

The fire is racing toward Coaldale, on U.S. 50 between Canon City and Salida, and is expected to reach the town of about 250 on Tuesday.

The majority of the fire is in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness just south and east of Hayden Pass, the U.S. Forest Service said.

"109 homes have been evacuated and all mandatory evacuations are still in place," the Fremont County Sheriff's Office wrote on its Facebook page.

About 175 firefighters are battling the blaze.

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Fire restrictions

Fire restrictions are in effect in several areas of the state, including:

  • Arapahoe County (including the Cherry Creek State Park)
  • City of Centennial
  • City of Golden
  • City of Lone Tree
  • Clear Creek County
  • Denver Mountain Parks properties that are located in Jefferson County, Clear Creek County and Douglas County (including Bergen Peak, Fillius, Genesse, Katherine Craig, Lookout Mountain, O’Fallon, Pence, Bell, Cub Creek, Dedisse, Elephant Butte, Berrian Mountain, Newton, Red Rocks and Little Park in Jefferson County;  Echo Lake, Summit Lake, Hicks Mountain, Pence Mountain and Forsberg Park in Clear Creek County; and Daniel’s Park in Douglas County)
  • Douglas County
  • Fort Collins/Boulder
  • Gilpin County
  • Jefferson County
  • Lakewood regional parks (including Bear Creek Lake Park, Thunder Valley Motocross Park and William Frederick Hayden Park on Green Mountain)
  • Larimer County
  • Unincorporated El Paso County

 

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