Fires tore through the Boulder, Colo., area on Saturday, spreading through at least 123 acres of land and leading authorities to order the evacuation of at least 19,000 people from 8,000 homes.
Marya Washburn, a spokesperson for Boulder Fire-Rescue, said the NCAR fire was zero percent contained around 7 pm Saturday night local time in a press briefing. She could not estimate how much the worse the fire might grow overnight.
“There’s so many factors,” Washburn said. “We do feel good that the wind has died down, it’s getting colder.”
The wildfire sparked around 2 pm on Saturday afternoon near the National Center for Atmospheric Research, hence the name NCAR fire, said Brian Oliver, an incident commander for the emergency fire and the wildland division chief with Boulder Fire Rescue.
“It quickly moved uphill,” Oliver said, “and then got caught on the ridgetop with some winds that pushed it south.”
While thousands of people have been evacuated, Oliver said no structures have been damaged or lost yet.
On Saturday, the National Weather Service tweeted that “dry, gusty winds will support critical fire weather conditions across a large portion of Texas, New Mexico, and eastern Colorado through Sunday.”
According to the Boulder Office of Emergency Management, a number of roads were closed around the NCAR fire area, while the East Boulder Community Center has been turned into an overnight shelter with mental health and trauma counseling support.
The NCAR Fire comes after January’s Marshall Fire, which tore through more than 6,000 acres in northern Colorado, including Boulder County.