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Boulder County wildfire that forced evacuations fully contained

The grass fire that started Thursday afternoon is now 100% contained. It burned a total of about 19 acres.

BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — A small wildfire burning on private land just off Highway 36 north of Boulder forced residents nearby to evacuate Thursday afternoon. 

The grass fire was first reported around 2 p.m. Thursday said the Boulder County Sheriff's Office. The sheriff's office said four or five structures were threatened by the fire, but it appears none were damaged. 

The sheriff's office said the only damage they're aware of was to about 100 to 150 feet of a wooden fence. 

Initially, residents of four homes were told to evacuate, but BCSO expanded the evacuation area just after 3 p.m. The evacuation zone spanned from Lefthand Canyon Road on the south to Nelson Road on the north. Heil Valley Ranch was on the west side of the evacuation zone.

Because of the hot, dry, weather and because the fire was burning near houses, fire crews asked for air assistance from the state, which supplied a one-seat plane and a helicopter. 

The sheriff's office said just after 3:30 p.m. that firefighters were starting to get containment on the fire. Around 5:30 p.m., they said it was fully contained. 

The fire was on private land and burned about 19 acres, the sheriff's office said. They are still investigating the cause. 

Highway 36 was briefly shut down between Neva and Nelson roads due to the smoke. The highway reopened around 4:15 p.m.

Elevated fire weather conditions were in place as of Thursday afternoon. Winds were gusting between 20 to 25 mph in nearby Boulder, with temperatures in the mid-70s (about 10 degrees above average) and relative humidity under 10%. 

That's a fairly high degree of fire danger, although winds generally remained on the lighter side.

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