Some Lime Gulch Fire evacuees back home

10:35 AM, Jun 22, 2013   |    comments
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JEFFERSON COUNTY - Some residents forced to flee from the 498-acre Lime Gulch Fire in Jefferson County were allowed back home Friday evening. 

People that live in the township of Buffalo Creek and residents on Southwest Platte River Road, from County Hwy 126 at Buffalo Creek for about one mile north, returned to their homes. 

Sheriff's officials say residents should be ready to leave again if conditions change.

The fire is burning in the Pike National Forest, 30 miles southwest of Denver, and forced evacuations Wednesday affecting more than 100 people. The fire is 15 percent contained as of Friday.

READ: Residents in path of Lime Gulch Fire remain hopeful

Fire crews took advantage of Thursday?'s lighter-than-expected winds to begin establishing containment lines to prevent the fire?s spread across the South Platte River.

Friday, firefighters will continue to hold and improve line that was constructed on Thursday, as well as patrol and hold the fire east of the South Platte River. On the eastern portion of the fire, crews will be shuttled across the river to begin line construction along the fire?s eastern edge.

A spokesperson for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office stressed that ground crews were mainly putting out the fire Friday, not air support.

The fire started Tuesday evening, possibly by lightning. The JeffCo Sheriff's Office received multiple reports of heavy smoke in the area Wednesday afternoon. 

Air support was dispatched and call out for type-3 and type-6 engines from all JeffCo fire districts was issued. Air tankers were over the fire within an hour dropping slurry.

The Lime Gulch Fire, originally named the Chair Creek Fire, is burning in an area with heavy Douglas-fir trees and steep terrain.

Jefferson County sheriff's spokeswoman Jacki Kelley said it's small, but it's a concern because the flame lengths are high, and it's headed toward a ridge.

The South Platte Ranger District of the Pike National Forest is managing the Lime Gulch wildfire along with the Jefferson County Sheriff Department and cooperators.

This is a developing story. Check back for more information.

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(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation with The Associated Press)

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