PARK COUNTY, Colo. — A fire that burned 1,518 acres in Park and Teller counties was human-caused, the Park County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday.
Fire officials said Tuesday morning that the 403 Fire remains at 60% containment.
Strong winds hampered efforts to attack to fire burning in eastern Park County and western Teller County that prompted mandatory evacuations Friday afternoon. The evacuation orders in both counties were downgraded to pre-evacuation status at 12 p.m. Sunday.
Fire officials said Tuesday that the fire was human caused. They did not say exactly what sparked the fire, but said it started behind a local resident's home.
"We are seeking criminal charges and will to the fullest extent of the law. This fire was preventable. While it may seem early in the fire season, we remind everyone to use caution when dealing with any open flames, ashes or heat sources,” Park County Sheriff Tom McGraw said in a statement.
Lt. Jennifer Plutt with the Park County Sheriff's Office said that around 10:52 a.m. Thursday, a resident in the Pike Forest Estates subdivision called 911 to report the fire. Plutt said at 11:31 a.m., mandatory evacuations were issued for those within a one-mile radius of the fire. After 3 p.m., that radius was expanded to 5 miles around the fire.
On Friday morning, the fire had grown to 1,205 acres. Park County emergency officials said the fire is burning in the area of County Road 403 and Alpine Meadow Lane, which is south of Lake George along the Park and Teller county line.
The evacuation orders issued Thursday were:
- A one-mile area around County Road 403 and Alpine Meadow Lane.
- County Road 46 to Wilson Drive in Teller County. The closest major intersection is County Road 46 and Blue Mountain Drive.
- Wilson Lakes and Forest Glenn subdivisions in Teller County.
A pre-evacuation warning was in place for Valley Hi and Florissant Heights subdivisions.
SUGGESTED VIDEOS: Wildfires in Colorado