Colorado’s Bear Creek Fire contained after hundreds forced to evacuate
Colorado’s Bear Creek Fire, which had forced the evacuations of 235 homes earlier this week, is now 100% contained.
The Colorado Springs Fire Department made the announcement Friday evening after windy and warm weather conditions whipped flames dangerously close to homes on Thursday.
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“I want to thank those firefighters up on the fire ground,” Colorado Springs Fire Chief Ted Collas said. “They did a tremendous job. When you all get the opportunity to get up there and you see where that fire went and the close proximity to homes and how it burned right up to the homes …”
The 26-acre fire began before noon on Thursday, on the west side of Bear Creek Park.
The cause is under investigation, according to officials.
Evacuees were allowed to return to their homes on Thursday evening when the fire was just over 50% contained.
Nursing homes near the blaze were under pre-evacuation orders that have since been lifted.
An aerial attack on the flames was launched early Thursday and more than 30 firefighters worked to contain the blaze, with eight overnight crews.
A helicopter dropped approximately 8,000 gallons of water on the fire, CBS Denver reported Friday.
No structures were reported lost.
“We have so many residents in Colorado Springs that take fire mitigation seriously. I can’t thank them enough,” said Collas.
“The mitigation efforts they have taken and the mitigation efforts we’ve done with our own fire department in the open space areas kept the fire low to the ground and kept it from getting into those latter fuels that we talk about all the time and getting up into the higher fuels and bigger fuels,” he added.
The western part of Colorado Springs is considered under extreme risk for wildland fire.
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In 2018, the Colorado State Forest Service reported around half of all Coloradans live in areas at risk for wildfires.
Record high temperatures have been reported this week from Colorado to the Southwest, ABC News reported Friday.