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Wildfire air quality precautions

During a wildfire, if you can see or smell smoke, it is recommended that you avoid outdoor physical activities. If visibility is decreased in your neighborhood to less than five miles, smoke has reached levels that are unhealthy.

Children, Elderly, & People with Respiratory Conditions

If you can see or smell smoke, children, elderly, pregnant women, and people with pre-existing respiratory conditions should stay inside with the windows and doors closed. If it is hot outside, run an air conditioner if you have one, but keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside. If you do not have an air conditioner and it is too warm to stay inside with the windows closed, seek shelter elsewhere. Watch for signs of heat exhaustion, including fatigue, nausea, headache, and vomiting, and contact your doctor immediately if these occur.

Older Adults

Older adults are more likely to be affected by smoke, as they have higher levels of heart or lung diseases than younger people. Check on elderly friends or relatives.

Follow your doctor’s advice about medicines and about your respiratory management plan if you have asthma or another lung disease. Call your doctor if your symptoms worsen.

Healthy Individuals

When smoke levels are high, even healthy people may experience coughing, a scratchy throat, irritated sinuses, shortness of breath, chest pain, headaches, stinging eyes, and a runny nose. If you can see or smell smoke, you should limit outdoor physical activities and stay indoors if at all possible.

Wildfire smoke contains pollutants that can be harmful to health. Particles from smoke tend to be very small and can therefore be inhaled into the deepest recesses of the lung and may represent a greater health concern than larger particles. Even in healthy people, this can cause temporary reductions in lung function and pulmonary inflammation. Particulate matter can also affect the body’s immune system.


  • Do not rely on paper dust masks found at hardware stores. These masks are not designed to block the small particles generated by wildfire smoke.
  • Keep windows and doors closed.
  • If you have an air conditioner, run it, but make sure that the fresh air intake vent is closed and the filter is clean. If not, turn the system off.
  • Evaporative cooling systems can also pull in air from the outside. Consider using a portable evaporative cooler within your house to avoid pulling air pollution into your house.
  • If these remedies are not sufficient, you may want to relocate to another location away from the smoke.

Evacuation shelter now open at East Boulder Community Center

Any residents evacuated due to the #SunshineFire can now use East Boulder Community Center as a shelter.

City of Boulder evacuation zone

Currently, residents living within the City of Boulder between Mapleton and Canyon Drive along 4th Street have all been evacuated. The currently evacuation point for residents is Boulder High School.

Remember – if you have no officially received an evacuation notice, but you feel unsafe – please self-evacuate.

Updates for #SunshineFire

Evacuations in progress surrounding the #SunshineFire. Please see map for specific evacuation zone (map shows county residences in the zone only. City of Boulder evac zone coming soon!). Currently the evacuation point is at Boulder High School.

There is also a Road Closure for Sunshine Canyon Drive (Mapleton) between 4th Street and Timber.

Remember – if you have not officially been evacuated, but you feel unsafe, self-evacuate.

Watch for Public Health smoke inhalation messaging coming soon.

Evacuation Zone for SunshineFire

The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Fire Weather Warning for Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017

HIGH danger for fire today! No open burning allowed in Boulder County today due to high winds and low humidity. Warnings in effect until this evening. Be safe, tell your friends. Follow @NWSBoulder on Twitter

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Rogers Fire update

Heavy smoke may be visible today in the Rogers Fire area due to fire crews mop-up of the site. Use caution as fire apparatus and first responders will be still coming in and out of the area.

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Wagonwheel Gap Fire update

All the remaining evacuations in place for the Wagonwheel Gap Fire on Lion Point and Wagonwheel Gap Road have been lifted. The fire is approximately 4.5 acres in size and it is estimated to be 60-65% contained. Please continue to exercise caution as fire apparatus will be on the roads.

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The Emergency Operations Center will be shutting down

The Emergency Operations Center will be shutting down for the night. We will be actively monitoring both the Rogers Fire and the Wagonwheel Gap Fire. Firefighters will remain on scene overnight to monitor conditions. We will post any updates on the fires as they are needed.

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UPDATES: #WagonwheelGapFire

This is the current situation with regard to the #WagonwheelGapFire:

  • Wagonwheel Gap Road is currently open from Lee Hill Drive up to the 1700 block (this area was previously closed)
    • This does NOT include the offshoot roads to the north which have the homes at the addresses below. Deputies will be positioned at the intersections leading to those roads.
    • Addresses that will remain evacuated overnight include 724, 726, 736, 738, 742, 744, 748, 1560, 1604, 1674, 1695 – All addresses listed as Wagonwheel Gap Road.
    • Deputies will be posted in this area overnight.
  • All of Lion Point Road is also closed and remains under evacuation orders.

All other residences along Wagonwheel Gap Road  that are not listed above are able to return home (also able to return home with animals).

The remaining evacuation orders will be re-evaluated at 6 a.m. tomorrow morning.

Public Call Center Now Closed

The public emergency call center for the #RogersFire and the #WagonwheelGapFire has now closed.

Please continue watching this site for updates, or visit Twitter and follow @BoulderOEM.

Non-emergency calls related to the fires can be directed to 303-441-4444.