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July 12, 2020

Media Contact

Public Information Unit, 303-441-1500

Fire crews quickly suppress overnight wildfire on Flagstaff

The cause of the fire is still under investigation but is suspected to be human-caused

Boulder, Colo. - At 12:20 a.m., the Sheriff's Communications Center received a 911 call from a Boulder citizen who reported seeing flames near Panorama Point, which is located near the 1,000 block of Flagstaff Mountain Road west of Boulder. Sheriff's dispatchers were able to visually confirm the fire from the dispatch center. The fire appeared to grow rapidly with flames reaching an estimated 20 feet tall. Shortly thereafter, additional 911 calls reporting the fire began to be received. Fire resources were quickly mobilized to the scene.

Firefighters from the City of Boulder Fire Department were the first to arrive and were able to attack the fire from above, quickly stopping its uphill run. By 4:30 a.m., the fire was declared fully contained and firefighters moved to mopping-up the remnants. Most firefighting resources were released from the scene by 6:00 a.m., with a small number of resources remaining through the day to continue mop-up efforts.

The initial estimate of the fire was reported to be approximately two acres; however, a later assessment during the mop-up phase suggested the fire was closer to 1/2 acre in size. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined but is believed to be human caused. The investigation into the cause continues.

Firefighting resources from the Boulder Fire Department, Rocky Mountain Fire Protection District, Boulder Rural Fire Protection District, Boulder Mountain Fire Protection District, Fourmile Fire Protection District, and the Sheriff's Office Fire Management Program fought the blaze. Law enforcement personnel from the Boulder Sheriff's Office, Boulder Police Department, and Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks also responded to assist with traffic control, scene security, and to prepare to initiate residential evacuations in the event they became necessary.

The fire danger continues to be very high. Given the current hazardous conditions and forecast, on Friday, July 10, Sheriff Joe Pelle instituted Stage 2 fire restrictions for western Boulder County, which includes the area where the Flagstaff Fire occurred. Anyone found in violation of the fire ban may be convicted of a class two petty offense and may be subject to up to a $1,000 fine, in addition to any possible civil penalties, including potential costs of fighting any fire that results.

The case number associated with this incident is 20-3057.

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/s/ Division Chief Mike Wagner
Public Information Officer