Left Hand Canyon fire now at 100 acres, evacuations ordered

6:55 AM, Jun 27, 2011   |    comments
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Maribeth Pecotte with the Boulder Ranger District says 340 homes have been put on standby to evacuate. An evacuation was ordered of a 1.5 mile radius of a recreational area from Olde Stage Road to Left Hand Canyon Drive.

High temperatures and low humidity are making it tough to fight the fire. Firefigthers are trying to push the fire to areas already burned by wildfires where less fuel might slow down the flames.

Several agencies have responded to help fight the fire. An air tanker was making fire retardant drops earlier in the evening but has stopped for the night.

Scott Roche and Daniel Sproul were four wheeling in the area when they saw the smoke.

"We started to make our way back down the hill and we noticed it's not a lot of smoke, could have been a campfire," Roche said. "Minutes later it's twice as big, three times as big."

Roche and Sproul called 911 and with only one way out of the canyon, got down the road as fast as they could.

"I've never driven that road that fast," Roche said.

The Red Cross set up an evacuation center at the YMCA at 2850 Mapleton Ave. but closed because no one sought assistance. The Longmont Humane Society at 9595 Nelson Road was prepared to take small animals but  no one sought its services either, so it closed for the night.

This is not the first wildfire this season that forced evacuations in the area.  On March 11, more than 220 homes were evacuated in Left Hand Canyon for a fire that burned more than 600 acres.

(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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