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Crews reach 80 percent containment on Boulder Maxwell Fire

7:34 PM, Jun 28, 2011   |    comments
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The fire burning in Left Hand Canyon northwest of Boulder is still 60 acres in size.

The Maxwell Fire started at about 5 p.m. on Sunday. Authorities now believe it began from an abandoned camp fire that was 50 feet north of Lefthand Canyon Drive.

Two hotshot crews and two type-2 crews have joined the other firefighters and 23 engines on the line Tuesday. About 200 personnel are assisting in fighting the blaze. Several agencies have responded to help fight the fire, including an air tanker that made fire retardant drops on Sunday.

The high humidity, low winds and temperatures in the 70s helped crews gain more control over the fire Monday. Temperatures soared back into the 90s on Tuesday, but crews were still able to increase the containment.

Maribeth Pecotte with the Boulder Ranger District says 340 homes were put on standby to evacuate Sunday. Residents within a 1.5 mile radius of a recreational area from Olde Stage Road to Left Hand Canyon Drive have been put on alert.

Lefthand Canyon Drive is closed to general traffic from US 36 to James Canyon Drive, but residents with ID can enter at the checkpoint at Lefthand Canyon Drive. Lefthand Canyon Road is closed to all traffic between James Canyon Drive to Olde Stage Road.

Although progress was made on the fire, fire officials want residents to still be cautious because conditions can change quickly, especially with any weather shift on Wednesday.

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. That burn area helped firefighters battle this blaze.

There was also one other fire, making this the third fire in the Lefthand Canyon area this year. The Forest Service is responding by taking a hard look at what has happened the past few months including current uses and their impacts. Agency officials are considering options for changes in area management keeping weather, available resources, and public safety in mind.

There are no injuries reported at this point. Fire officials believe the blaze is not directly threatening any structures.

(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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