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NCAR Fire: Investigators have 'exhausted all leads' in identifying suspect

The Boulder County wildfire last month was human-caused and started just off the Bear Canyon Trail, the sheriff's office said.

BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — Investigators have determined that the NCAR Fire, which forced thousands of evacuations last month, was human-caused, but they haven't been able to identify a suspect, the Boulder County Sheriff's Office (BCSO) said Thursday.

The wildfire that burned about 190 acres originated in the City of Boulder, by less than 100 feet. It started a few feet off the Bear Canyon Trail, BCSO said in a news release.

BCSO investigators reviewed more than 20 tips from the public, spoke to potential witnesses and examined potential video and photographic evidence. 

But they have "exhausted all leads and have not been able to identify a suspect," according to the release.

The NCAR Fire started about 2:15 p.m. March 26 on Boulder Open Space Mountain Parks property, south of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Facility in south Boulder.

> Video above: NCAR Fire may have started near trail, Boulder Fire Department says

RELATED: Here's how firefighters kept the NCAR Fire from reaching homes

No injuries were reported, and no structures were lost. About 19,000 people living in 8,000 homes were placed under mandatory evacuation orders.

Part of the fire line approached several subdivisions in the Table Mesa neighborhood in Boulder, including Devil's Thumb. The flames never made it to any homes. 

It was originally believed that the fire started in unincorporated Boulder County, so BCSO took the lead on the investigation. After finding that the fire started in the City of Boulder, the Sheriff's Office kept the case and worked with city personnel, the release says.

Anyone with information on a possible suspect can contact BCSO at 720-564-2679 or BCSOTips@bouldercounty.org.

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