For updates on the Sunshine Canyon fire, visit Boulder Office of Emergency Management status page.

Emergency Status
Oct 20

Update on fire conditions from the Type 2 team

Current Situation: Crews made progress on both fires Monday, gaining additional containment on the CalWood Fire. Yesterday, crews on the CalWood Fire worked extensively on all divisions of the fire constructing line as direct as possible to the fire’s edge. Aircraft was used extensively on the north edge of the CalWood Fire to support ground crews constructing and mopping up line. Crews monitored for spot fires on the north side in the South St. Vrain drainage and on lands north of the fire’s edge. On the southern edge of the fire, crews continued line construction towards the west, in an effort to connect burned areas and lighter fuels into the 2003 Overland Fire burn scar. Containment increased to 17% on the CalWood Fire on Monday, all of which is located in lighter fuels on the east edge of the fire in the Highway 36 corridor. Today, CalWood firefighters will continue constructing firelines and mopping up hot spots. Aircraft will again be used to support those crews when conditions allow.

Crews made good progress on the Lefthand Canyon Fire Monday constructing fireline along lines of retardant put into place on Sunday. Helicopters dropped water to cool heat from interior hot spots while crews monitored for spot fires. Lefthand Canyon firefighters will continue building and improving containment lines today. Crews will also work to minimize fire spread and patrol for spot fires as winds increase over the fire area today. Aircraft will again be used to support ground operations.

Weather & Fuel Conditions: An inversion layer is expected to be over both fires this morning bringing a bit of cloud cover that will diminish before midday bringing sunny skies. Temperatures are expected to be up to 70 in the lower elevations with highs in the higher elevations in the upper 50s to low 60s. Winds are forecast to be higher this morning with 15-25 mph west winds over the higher elevations of the CalWood Fire and Lefthand Canyon Fire. Those ridgetop winds are expected to diminish in the afternoon to 8-11 mph. Winds are expected to be light at the lower elevations of the CalWood Fire throughout the day. A cold front will settle into the area around sunset. Ahead of this front, winds will shift out of the northeast from 5-10 mph. With the passage of the front, winds will shift back to the west around midnight. With the clearer skies and lower relative humidity today, more activity is expected on both fires.

Closures and Evacuations: Road closures, evacuation orders, and evacuation warnings put in place by Boulder County Sheriff’s Office remain in effect for areas near both the CalWood and Lefthand Canyon fires. For more information on evacuation orders near both fires, please visit https://arcg.is/0Lq5fD. The U.S. Forest Service also has a closure in place on the Boulder Ranger District for public safety and to support firefighting efforts. Please visit: https://go.usa.gov/x7arZ.

Air Quality: Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has issued an Air Quality Action Day Alert for the Colorado Front Range until at least 4pm Tuesday due to moderate to heavy smoke near the Cameron Peak, CalWood, and Lefthand Canyon fires. For further information on smoke forecasts and public health, please visit the CDPHE Air Quality page https://www.colorado.gov/airquality/colorado_summary.aspx or find more localized information at https://airnow.gov.

Emergency Alerts: Boulder County has an emergency notification system that allows residents of the county and all cities within to be notified of emergency situations. Notifications can be received in a variety of ways, including cell and land line phones, by text and/or by email. To sign up for alerts, please visit www.Boco911Alert.com.

Temporary Flight Restrictions: Temporary Flight Restrictions are in place over the Calwood and Lefthand Canyon fires. Wildfires are a No Drone Zone. If you fly, we can’t. Whenever a drone is spotted near the fires, all aircraft will be grounded until the drone is confirmed as clear of the area. For more information, visit http://knowbeforeyoufly.org.