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Publish Date: 9/3/2005

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The North Foothills Fire came close to homes in the Foothills Ranch subdivision south of Lyons. The fire was 100 percent contained Friday, with crews mopping up hot spots.Times-Call/Richard M. Hackett

Crews mop up North Foothills Fire remnants


BOULDER — Fire crews extinguished leftover hot spots at the North Foothills Fire on Friday morning, hours after they contained the 55-acre blaze.

All of the nearby residents forced out of their homes by the blaze returned to their homes Friday, Boulder County spokesman Jim Burrus said.

“We have no injuries, no property damage, no structures lost,” Burrus said Friday. “It went well, for a fire.”

The blaze was sparked at around 3:30 p.m. Thursday in the Foothills Ranch community near the corner of Nelson Road and U.S. Highway 36. A man clearing weeds laid a weed whacker on the ground, and friction heat from the device may have caused the fire, investigators said.

The blaze burned onto part of Heil Valley Ranch Open Space and torched some trees, Burrus said. At one point, 60-foot flames shot into the air. But air tankers, slurry bombers and more than 100 firefighters tamed the blaze quickly, with the help of cooler weather Thursday night, Burrus said.

“The weather helped immensely,” he said. “There were no hot, dry winds to fan the flames.”

All of the animals evacuated from the Autumn Hill Equestrian Center also returned home Friday, said Maddie Rubin, who boards a horse there. The animals were sent to the Boulder County Fairgrounds in Longmont on Thursday.

“It was definitely a scare,” Rubin said.

The fire was a reminder that conditions are ripe for wildfires, even if the hottest days of summer are over, Burrus said.

“Conditions are still fairly dry,” he said. “People need to be careful in dealing with fire outdoors.”

Brad Turner can be reached at 720-494-5420, or by e-mail at bturner@times-call.com.

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