Stage 1 fire restrictions, enacted for unincorporated areas of western Boulder County.

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July 17, 2022

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Public Information Unit, 303-441-1500

Single-engine plane crash caused small fire in Lefthand Canyon

Plane crash still being investigated

Boulder County, Colo. - On Sunday, July 17, 2022, at approximately 09:41 AM, Boulder County Communications was notified of a plane crash in the area of the 10,000 block of Lefthand Canyon Drive. The reporting party saw the plane crash into the ground and then reported smoke and flames in the area.

Firefighters arrived on the scene and reported a single-engine plane that had been destroyed along with one deceased party. Firefighters initially reported a one-half acre fire growing slowly in heavy timber. Firefighters began digging containment lines around the fire and applying water from brush trucks to stop the fire growth. Firefighters on the ground were assisted by a Helicopter that provided water drops to reduce the fire's spread.

An evacuation warning for areas near Gold Hill and Ward was issued, given the projected path of the fire and the possibility for growth. The fire named the Spring Gulch Fire was eventually mapped at just under one-half acres and is currently 90% contained. Firefighters are working into the evening and will patrol the area tonight and tomorrow. All evacuation warnings have been lifted at this time.

At this time, Boulder County Sheriff's Office investigators cannot determine the number of fatalities or further information due to unsafe conditions on the scene. However, investigators will be on site tomorrow to continue working.

The investigation is ongoing. The official cause and manner of death, along with identification of the deceased, will be determined by the Boulder County Coroner's Office. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will investigate the crash's cause.

Any questions regarding the investigation into the plane crash should be directed to the NTSB Public Affairs office at 202-631-6034. Questions regarding the fire can be directed to the Boulder County Sheriff's Office PIO.

Agencies assisting with this incident included: Boulder County Sheriff's Office, Boulder County Coroner's Office, Gold Hill Fire Protection District, Indian Peaks Fire Protection District, Lefthand Fire Protection District, Boulder Mountain Fire Protection District, Rocky Mountain Rescue Group, Boulder Emergency Squad, U.S. Forest Service, American Medical Response, and the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control.

The associated Boulder County Sheriff's Office case number is: #22-03376.


/s/ Ryan Singer, Emergency Service Coordinator