BOULDER - Firefighters were able to stop the now 74-acre Sunshine Canyon fire from advancing overnight – and plan to continue to make progress on the blaze Monday.
The Sunshine Fire broke out at around 1:40 a.m. Sunday and reached 100 percent containment by 5 p.m. on Monday. Boulder County officials say the people who live in the 426 homes evacuated due to the fire could return starting at around 9:30 a.m. Monday.
The people placed on pre-evacuation notice were also told they no longer needed to be ready to leave.
Despite this good news, more than 180 firefighters and 50 pieces of fire apparatus will be on hand Monday to continue battling the Sunshine Fire.
An aerial view of the fire on Monday morning showed it grew from 62 to 74 acres in the past 24 hours.
According to the Boulder Office of Emergency Management, firefighters will continue to work overnight on hotspots and flare-ups and mop-up operations will continue Tuesday.
Sunday, investigators ruled out lightning strikes and downed power lines as the causes of the fire, and speculate that humans may be the culprit.
The Sunshine Fire originated in a part of Boulder County land that is used by hikers and transients for camping.
As of Monday morning, hot spots remained in the Sunshine Canyon and Timber Lane area – which is also believed to be where it originated.
Evacuees can return to their homes at two checkpoints. The intersection at 4th and Mapleton will allow residents through with ID, as well will the intersection at Sunshine and Maple.
Nonresidents will not be allowed in the area.
A public call center is open to take non-emergency resident questions about the Sunshine Fire at 303-413-7730.
Below is the map of the evacuation area:
The Sunshine Fire is creating poor air quality in southeastern Boulder County. If visibility drops below five miles, health officials recommend you stay indoors due to the high levels of particulates in the air.
Wind, low humidity and warm temperatures will continue to create high fire danger for the Front Range and foothills on Monday.
The Boulder County Sheriff's Office says about $500,000 was spent on firefighting efforts on Sunday.
One person stayed in an emergency shelter set up at the East Boulder Community Center Sunday night. That shelter closed Monday morning.
The Boulder County Office of Emergency Management had the following tips for evacuees who are returning home:
Your well or septic system could be adversely affected by the fire, power outages, equipment failure from fire damage, or contamination of water supplies. Visually inspect your well and septic systems. Details about what to look for are available at: http://authorsp/safety/fire/pages/firewellseptic.aspx.
Food exposed to heat, smoke fumes, or chemicals used to fight fires, or where power has been out, may be compromised. Details about what to look for and steps to take are available at: http://authorsp/safety/fire/Pages/firefood.aspx.
If your home or property has been impacted by fire suppressant (slurry), it can be removed with gentle soap and water. Review instructions for removal at http://authorsp/safety/fire/Pages/firesuppressant.aspx.
A tetanus vaccination is recommended for all residents returning to the burn area who have not had a documented dose within the past ten years. Prompt first aid management for wounds and prevention of infection is also important. If you receive a puncture wound or a wound contaminated with feces, soil, or saliva, a health care professional should determine if a tetanus booster is necessary, based on individual records. More information is available at: http://authorsp/safety/fire/pages/firetetanus.aspx.