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February 21, 2017

Media Contact

Public Information Unit, 303-441-1500

Grass fire north of Hygiene

A fast-moving grass fire north of the 6300 blk of Ute Highway prompted the evacuation of 75 homes; suppression efforts continue

Boulder County, Colo. - Just after 5:00 p.m. this afternoon the Boulder County Communications Center received a 911 call from the Round Mountain Horse Ranch about a fast-moving grass fire on the property threatening a structure. The initial report of the fire placed its size at approximately one acre. The Round Mountain Horse Ranch is north of Ute Highway in the 6300 block.

Fire and law enforcement personnel responded to the area and immediately ordered evacuations of nearby residents based upon the rapidly growing grass fire. The general area of the evacuation zone includes homes north of Ute Highway, west of the 6300 block, east of N. 75th Street, and south of Woodland Road (and Rabbit Mountain to the west). A total of 75 residences were evacuated.

As of 7:30 p.m., fire personnel have estimated the size of the fire to be 50 acres and believe it to be approximately 20% contained. Fire personnel from nine local fire departments or districts, including the sheriff's Fire Management Program, are actively working to suppress the grass fire. Three outbuildings have been confirmed as lost, although it is likely more structures, and possibly vehicles or horse trailers, may have been impacted but are not yet known.

As fire operations allow, the sheriff's Animal Control Unit is working with local equestrians and property owners to evacuate large animals (e.g. horses) in the area. Boulder County has opened the barns at the Fairgrounds in Longmont as a temporary large-animal shelter. No livestock is presumed to have perished in the fire.

The grass fire is within the jurisdiction of the Hygiene Fire Protection District and they are manage the response and fire suppression efforts. At the request of the Hygiene Fire Department, all media requests related to the Rabbit Mountain Fire, are being handled by the sheriff's Public Information Unit.

Real-time informational updates are being disseminated by Twitter (@BldrCoSheriff) with the incident hash tag #RabbitMntFire.

The cause and origin of the fire have not yet been determined but is under investigation.

The case number documenting this event is 17-1045.

Additional information will be posted as it becomes available. The next scheduled on-camera media briefing is at 8:30 p.m. at the north shore parking lot for McCall Lake in the 6100 block of Ute Highway.

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/s/ Cmdr. Mike Wagner
Public Information Officer