Update: Wow, that was fast. Almost as quickly as the Burning Tree fire near Franktown flared up, crews supplemented by aircraft borrowed from the Indian Gulch fire in the Golden area have knocked it down. According to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, containment currently stands at 95 percent -- but livestock that was evacuated can't return quite yet.
Get the details below, followed by our earlier coverage.
Douglas County Sheriff's Office release:
UPDATE on Burning Tree Fire near Franktown
Thanks to the hard work of firefighters the Burning Tree fire near Franktown is now 95% contained.
All residents have been allowed to return home. Livestock is being allowed to return in areas North of Bayou Gulch Road. Livestock is not being allowed to return in areas South of Bayou Gulch Road due to windy conditions and smoke in the area.
Because of the windy conditions excepted today, residents living South of Bayou Gulch Road are asked to be prepared to evacuate if necessary. Any residents in this area needing assistance to evacuate are asked not to return home at this time. This includes the Whispering Pines, Bannock Burn, and Burning Tree subdivisions.
Fire Department personnel will be on scene throughout the day doing cleaning up and monitoring hot spots.
Original item, 6:59 a.m. March 25: So much attention has been riveted on the Indian Gulch fire near Golden that news of an equally destructive blaze near Franktown came as both a surprise and a shock, especially for the 8,500 residents who were initially evacuated. Fortunately, most of them are back in their homes, although their large animals remain at the Douglas County Fairgrounds.
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Unlike at Indian Gulch, firefighters were able to quickly get the majority of the so-called Burning Tree fire contained -- although residents have been told they may need to leave again at ten minutes notice if the winds shift or the situation takes a turn for the risky.
By the way, the first press release from the Douglas County Sheriff's Office yesterday pertained to a Red Robin fundraiser for the Special Olympics planned for this weekend -- but the tenor of the DCSO's messages changed rapidly when word of a fire that's consumed 1,600 acres to date got out. Look below to read the Burning Tree-related notices from the first to the most recent, followed by videos of the conflagration.
Douglas County Sheriff's Office press releases, March 24:
Information on Fire Burning Northeast of Franktown
Evacutions have been ordered for residents Northeast of Franktown including the Pinery subdivison. The evacuation point is the Douglas County Fairgrounds for both people and animals. Parents who are looking for children who have been evacuated from the area should report to Kirk Hall at the Douglas County Fairgrounds to pick up their children.
Updated Information on Fire Burning Northeast of Franktown
Evacutions are still in place for residents Northeast of Franktown including the Pinery subdivison. The evacuation point is the Douglas County Fairgrounds for both people and animals. Parents who are looking for children who have been evacuated from the area should report to Kirk Hall at the Douglas County Fairgrounds to pick up their children. The Red Cross is on scene at the fairgrounds to assist evacuated residents.
People who are interested in donating horse feed can bring it to the Douglas County Fairgrounds or call 303-591-4170 to make arrangements to deliver it. Castle Rock Feed will being staying open until 8pm for people who need to get feed for their animals.
Citizens looking for updated information can call 211 from anywhere in the metro area or 1-866-760-6489.
Evacuations Partially Lifted In Burning Tree Fire near Franktown
The Burning Tree fire near Franktown has grown to over 1600 acres and is approximately 50% contained. There are no reports of injuries or damage to structures at this time.
The evacuation zone has been lifted for areas north of Bayou Gulch Rd to Hilltop Rd from Hwy 83 to Delbert Rd. This includes all of the Pinery subdivision.
Burning Tree Fire now 70% Contained
Thanks to the hard work of firefighters on the front lines the Burning Tree fire is now approximately 70% contained. Air opperations will be stopping soon.
Residents living in areas North of Bayou Gulch are being allowed to return to their homes. Residents in areas south of Bayou Gulch Road are still in the evacuation area.
All residents in the area of the Burning Tree Fire near Franktown are being allowed to return home. Residents must be prepared to leave within 10 minutes if the fire flares back up again. Please do not block driveways in case fire apparatus needs access to the area.
No large animals (livestock) are being allowed to return at this time. Arrangements have been made to house livestock at the Douglas County Fairgrounds until they are allowed to return.
Fire Department and Sheriff's Office personnel will be patrolling the area over night.
More from our News archive: "Boulder Fourmile Canyon fire photo gallery: Most beautiful shots of a horrible blaze."