#Drought news: “I’ve never seen it like this before…There is no snow at all up there” — Jason Morley

Early morning shot of the #SunshineFire at Settlers Park by @samuelmforsyth via Twitter.

From The Longmont Times-Call (Mitchell Byars):

The [Sunshine Fire] grew to 74 acres from the 62 acres reported on Sunday, but crews were able to reach 100 percent containment on the fire after 5 p.m., according to the Boulder Office of Emergency Management.

The OEM tweeted that firefighters would continue to work overnight on hot spots and flare-ups.

The high winds that fire crews were fearing overnight Sunday never materialized, and as a result firefighters were “comfortable” enough with where the fire was on Monday morning that they could lift the evacuations.

Boulder OEM also said limiting access to residents was lifted at 7 p.m. Monday after firefighters and their equipment was out of the area.

The fire prompted mandatory evacuations for 426 homes and pre-evacuation notices for another 836 homes. The cost of fighting the fire has been estimated at $500,000 so far, and there were 178 firefighters and 50 fire trucks on scene Monday.

Much of the air support from Sunday was not needed for a second day, as hand crews and a smaller helicopter capable of more accurate drops addressed hot spots within the fire.

Boulder hotshot firefighter Jason Morley arrived on scene shortly after 9 a.m. Sunday and spent the day fighting the fire in rough terrain.

“Our guys did a great job,” Morley said. “We’re there digging lines, attacking hot spots.”

Morley said conditions Sunday in the canyon were brutal for firefighters and highly unusual for this time of year.

“I’ve never seen it like this before,” Morley said. “There is no snow at all up there. If you picked up grass, it would just crumble in your hands.”

Wagner said firefighters reported the conditions were more like June than March.

West Drought Monitor March 14, 2017.

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