According to Mike Smith, the incident commander, the fire that erupted Saturday burned within 1,000 yards (914 metres) of Boulder’s west end homes. He said that no homes were destroyed and that there were no injuries.

Smith stated that a quick initial attack, “combined all of the fuels mitigation treatment that we have done in this area is one reason that we’ve had such success.”

He said that fire crews could also use an aircraft to battle the fire. They laid down fire retardant lines near the homes in the rolling hills to the south of the college town.

Late Saturday, the evacuation zone was reduced to 1,700 residents and 700 homes. This is down from the 8,000 homes that were evacuated earlier in day. Officials stated that fire managers hope to allow more people into their homes as the area becomes safer. Smith stated that new information was expected for people still evacuated by Sunday evening.

Smith stated that Sunday’s work was focused on strengthening the fire line and making certain the fire doesn’t go down towards Eldorado Canyon or toward Boulder. Crews worked to channel the fire to a snow-covered area.

Smith stated that today was a great day during a briefing on Sunday afternoon as a helicopter flew behind him. “This morning was cooler and the wind was calmer. As we went through the day, we were pleased to see that not all of the forecast winds actually came to pass.”

Smith stated that the containment level rose from 21% to 35% Sunday morning while the area was still being burned — an estimated 189 acres (77 ha).

The fire erupted in dry grass and dormant trees, not far from the place where a December fire had burned more than 9 miles (24 kilometers) and claimed over 1,000 homes.

Smith stated that fire crews are worried about the coming fire season.

He said, “I believe this is just an indicator of how things will go.” We continue to work on our plans. We are continuing to work on team building and working with our partners to ensure that we are as well-rounded as possible. Although we feel good, we are a bit nervous about the next season.

Boulder police stated that the fire destroyed protected wildland close to the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Smith stated that authorities have named it the NCAR fire, and the cause of the fire is unknown. However, Smith claimed that officials have located the location where the fire started.