BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — A wildfire that forced hundreds of people to leave their homes Monday is now 100% contained, emergency managers said.
More than 450 people were evacuated from their homes due to the Sunshine Wildland Fire, which started Monday afternoon west of Boulder. The evacuated residents were allowed to return home at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
The Boulder Office of Emergency Management said at 5 p.m. Wednesday that the fire is fully contained. All evacuation notices and road closures have been lifted.
The fire had burned about 19 acres and was 65% contained as of noon Wednesday after minimal growth overnight. There was no new fire growth Wednesday.
The fire started as a structure fire in the 2900-block of Sunshine Canyon Drive and became a wildland fire. Emergency managers said the home on Sunshine Canyon Drive was destroyed. Another home on nearby Bristlecone Way sustained damage.
>Video below: Aerial view of the Sunshine Wildland Fire from Tuesday morning.
"I think it’s very close to the neighborhoods. I do think that they’re hoping that it lays down tonight and they can get a good handle on it," Boulder County Sheriff's Office Commander Jason Oehlkers said Monday night. "The winds are making it really difficult."
Winds were gusting between 40 and 45 mph near the site of the fire, with a very dry air mass in place, as well.
There were no evacuation orders in the City of Boulder. Pre-evacuation notices for the western side of the city were lifted just before 5 p.m. Monday.
Yvonne Webber lives in the Pine Brook Hill neighborhood and was at work when she heard about the evacuations. She rushed home to rescue her dogs, Greta and Freya.
"Things have happened so fast so many times that you do just have to be prepared and ready to go," she said.
Webber has learned how to evacuate. Fires and floods have forced her from her home four times since she moved in 20 years ago.
She's only gotten more concerned since watching the Marshall Fire burn parts of Boulder County last year.
"We’re lucky," she said. "The poor people in the Marshall Fire didn’t have more than a second to grab things, and we had some time."
In the city of Boulder, the Marshall Fire was top of mind for Janice Clark, too.
"I thought, 'Oh, my house is so far – half a mile from the grasslands -- so it won’t matter.' Now I know better," she said.
Clark packed her suitcases and readied her pets to evacuate if she was ordered to do so, but authorities indicated her neighborhood was in the clear by Monday night.
"It lets me realize what’s important to me," she said of preparing to leave. "I have some of the kids' pictures. I have important photo albums and the clothes I need to wear. The rest is not that important."
> The video below shows a structure burning in Boulder County on Monday:
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