US authorities have issued an evacuation order for 19,000 people near a fast-moving Colorado wildfire in rolling hills south of the college town of Boulder, not far from the site of a destructive 2021 blaze that levelled more than 1,000 homes.
- The fire has grown to about 50 hectares
- It is in the same area as a blaze that destroyed 1,000 homes last year
- The fire is burning through protected bushland, police say
The wildfire had grown to 50 hectares by late afternoon with no containment on Saturday local time, according to the Boulder Office of Emergency Management.
The evacuation orders covered 8,000 homes.
Protected bushland was burning near the Table Mesa neighbourhood and the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder police said on Twitter. Authorities have called it the NCAR fire.
The fire is in an area where a blaze destroyed 1,000 homes last year in unincorporated Boulder County and suburban Superior and Louisville.
Superior town officials told residents in an email that there were no immediate concerns for the community.
The fire was moving south-south-east toward Eldorado Springs, the Boulder County Sheriff’s office said.
Eldorado Canyon State Park has been closed and authorities have ordered people hiking or climbing in the area to evacuate.
University of Colorado Boulder Police were evacuating the south campus and police blocked westbound traffic on roads near the blaze.
The fire started around 2:00pm Saturday, said Boulder Fire-Rescue spokesperson Marya Washburn.
An emergency operations centre was activated, Boulder police said.
Emergency alerts were sent to mobile phones close to the research centre.
“Message is to EVACUATE area due to fast moving wildfire #boulder,” police said.
There was no immediate information on the cause of the blaze.