Elephant Butte Fire in Evergreen 75% contained; no injuries or damage reported

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EVERGREEN, Colo. (KDVR) — The Elephant Butte Fire started in Evergreen on Monday afternoon at around 2:30 p.m. More than 1,000 homes received evacuation orders. The fire has burned more than 50 acres.

As of Tuesday night, all evacuation orders had been lifted. There are no reports of injuries or damaged structures.

Below are updates on the fire:

10:30 p.m. Wednesday Update:

The fire is now 75% contained, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

8 a.m. Wednesday Update:

The #elephantbuttefire is now 60% contained! Fire crews will continue to work on improving the line around the fire and attacking the hot spots in the interior. Residents still the only ones allowed in the area.

7 p.m. Update:

All evacuation orders have been lifted. The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said heavy rain helped firefighting efforts.

6 p.m. Update:

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office released the following map of areas that are still under an evacuation order:

4 p.m. Update:

The Jefferson County Sheriff has lifted the evacuation order for some areas, but it remains in effect for the following neighborhoods:

  • The north side of Buffalo Park Road between Le Masters and South Jack Pine
  • Le Masters Road
  • Buffalo Creek Road
  • Buffalo Creek Drive
  • South Elk Road

Areas not on that list will be lifted at 5 p.m., however, residents in areas where there is no longer an evacuation order will need to pass through checkpoints.

3 p.m. Update:

The sound of choppers consumed the city Tuesday as helicopters brought buckets of water back and forth between where people are waiting and wondering and the 50 smoldering across threatening their homes.

“Boots on the ground make a difference but it’s tough going, it’s tough going,” Evergreen Fire and Rescue Spokesperson Stacee Martin said. “The goal today is to keep it within a box, to keep it contained. We know there’s more warm weather coming tomorrow and the next day so we want to really get some hands on it right now.”

“This is real, this is very real,” Evergreen resident Annie Doughtery said. 

Sights and sounds of the helicopters in action brought tears to Dougherty’s eyes Tuesday. 

“These are the guys that are saving my house, so it got me emotional,” Doughtery said, adding “We are so grateful.”

Martin explained many on the frontlines are volunteers, neighbors helping neighbors.

“These are folks that are leaving their day jobs to fight the fires,” Martin said. 

Agencies from across the state and South Dakota are also assisting in around-the-clock containment efforts.

“We were watching the sheriffs’ cars and fire trucks going past our house, we’re like ‘oh my god,’” evacuated resident Annie Audsley said.

Some of Evergreen’s newest residents tell FOX31 they’re in complete shock watching the fire and containment efforts.

“We moved here one week ago, across country from north Carolina, never been exposed to fire anywhere,” Eric Deacon said.

Deacon brought his little boy Bear to the lake Tuesday to watch the helicopters. They have a go bag ready in case they too are evacuated.

1 p.m. Update:

The fire has not grown in size, and according to the Jefferson County Sheriff it is now about 25 percent contained.

12 p.m. Update:

Evacuation Orders:

  • More than 1,000 homes received evacuation orders as of Monday night
  • The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said a CodeRed alert sent 2,950 phone calls, sent 1,070 text messages and sent 826 emails as of Monday night.
  • Elk Meadow Park, Alderfer/Three Sisters Park remain closed
  • JCSO Animal Control & other large animal agencies are standing by to assist homeowners with moving any large or small animals to JeffCo Fairgrounds or Foothills Animal Shelter. Please call 303-271-0211 if you need help evacuating
  • Evacuation Centers: Evergreen Middle School and King Murphy elementary school in Clear Creek County.
Evacuation area

Forecast:

  • Overall, better for controlling the wildfire versus Monday thanks to a cold front. 
  • Wind remains biggest problem.
  • Temps: 10-15 degrees cooler
  • Wind: Gusty 15-30 mph from West then NE
  • Humidity: Higher than Monday
  • Moisture: 40% chance of afternoon rain/t-storms

WATCH: JeffCo update on Elephant Butte fire in Evergreen

Containment:

  • 0% contained as of late Monday night
  • 50+ acres burned

Personnel Helping with the Fire:

  • Colorado State Patrol
  • Jefferson County Open Space
  • Denver Mountain Parks
  • Evergreen Fire Rescue
  • Elk Creek Fire
  • Platte Canyon Fire Department
  • United States Forest Service
  • Blackhawk Fire
  • JeffCo Type 3 IMT

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