Colorado’s Calwood Fire surpasses 7,000 acres, destroying many buildings

West

BOULDER, Colo. (NewsNation Now) — Nearly 3,000 people were forced to flee from a fast-moving fire in north-central Colorado and authorities believe some buildings were lost.

The CalWood Fire started around noon Saturday near the Cal-Wood Education Center, which is about 17 miles (27 kilometers) from downtown Boulder. It was pushed by strong winds. The National Center for Atmospheric Research’s Mesa lab recorded gusts of 59 mph (95 kph) on Saturday.

More than 1,600 residences and nearly 3,000 people were under evacuation orders, including the small town of Jamestown, Boulder County officials said.

The CalWood fire currently stands at just over 7,000 acres. Fire crews from multiple jurisdictions are working together to contain it and protect structures in its path. The fire is now 15% contained.

Mike Wagner, the Boulder County sheriff’s division chief, told NewsNation affiliate KDVR that they can account for 26 buildings lost in the fire, but there are likely others they’re unable to reach due to safety reasons.

Wagner said it’s the largest fire in Boulder County history.

The fire had burned nearly 14 square miles by Sunday morning.

Meanwhile, the Cameron Peak fire, which started in mid-August and is burning west of Fort Collins, has grown to 318 square miles and was 62% contained on Sunday. More than 1,500 firefighters are working the blaze, which is the largest fire in Colorado history.

A spot fire east of the main Cameron Peak fire burned homes overnight Friday and into Saturday, Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith said in a Facebook post Sunday morning. He said homes were lost in The Retreat in Glen Haven, but did not say how many. The sheriff’s office will assess the damage and notify homeowners.

Winds were expected to be lighter on Sunday and some precipitation was in the forecast allowing fire crews to more aggressively fight the fire, fire information officer Cass Cairns said.

NewsNation affiliate KDVR and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

© 1998 - 2020 Nexstar Inc. | All Rights Reserved.