BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — No structures were lost and no injuries were reported in a grass fire that burned about 52 acres in Boulder County Wednesday afternoon, the sheriff's office said.
The fire, which is being called the Table Mountain Fire, was first reported just before 3 p.m. in the area of the 5000-block of Nelson Road, which is west of Longmont.
A mandatory evacuation order was previously issued for the area bordered by 51st Avenue, 65th Avenue, Nelson Road and Neva Road. The sheriff's office said around 4:45 p.m. that all residents could return home.
The fire had burned about 25 acres as of 3:45 p.m., the sheriff's office said. Around 4:10 p.m., they said firefighters "have made significant progress on the fire."
"The season is starting off a little early for us, a little sooner than expected, I think," said Seth McKinney, Fire Management Officer for the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office. "We’re really starting to see what a true, year-round fire season looks like in Colorado."
The Table Mountain Fire forced more than 300 people to evacuate before firefighters could put it out.
They’ve responded to several fires in the last couple of weeks.
"I’m certainly hoping for some rain and doing all the rain dances I can, but everything’s dry right now, and we just need to get some moisture on the ground, have it green up some of those light and flashy fuels, and that’ll give us a little bit of relief," McKinney said.
The firefighters on staff are working long hours, just trying to keep up with all the new fires.
"We’ll take any interest we can get. It’s been challenging to find and retain wildland firefighters at the level that’s needed right now," McKinney said.
There is some good news for firefighters: More help is on the way. Agencies bring in seasonal firefighters to help during the peak months of fire danger in the summer. Those extra firefighters in places like Boulder are arriving right now and will be on hand until next winter.
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