Dome wildfire: Update about evacuation order, progress in fighting Boulder blaze (PHOTOS)

Update: City of Boulder officials have announced that the evacuation order for many residents put in place due to the Dome fire will be lifted at 10 a.m. today -- a very good sign.

Some info about the continuing fight is also contained in this release:

City to lift evacuation order at 10 a.m. today

All mandatory evacuations of city neighborhoods in west Boulder will be lifted at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 30. All residents and business owners west of 7th Street from Canyon Boulevard on the south to North Street on the north are welcome to return to their properties starting at that time.

Fire crews are still battling active fire west of the city. City residents in west Boulder neighborhoods can anticipate fire equipment in the area throughout the day. Residents may notice firefighting teams from other jurisdictions assisting with this effort.

Open Space and Mountain Parks trails in the evacuation zone will remain closed, and firefighters are asking for the public's cooperation in staying off the trails and out of the area for recreational purposes.

The Dome wildfire originated near Dome Rock on City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks property on Friday, Oct. 29.

"On behalf of the city and emergency responders, we would like to thank the community for its cooperation and continued versatility during this event," said City Manager Jane S. Brautigam. "We appreciate the diligent and exhaustive efforts of all of the responding firefighters."

The North Boulder Recreation Center, 3170 Broadway, has resumed normal operations and class schedule today. Adult classes were canceled on Friday due to health concerns related to the smoke.

The city encourages residents to remain alert and monitor local news and Emergency Operations Center updates for any changing information. For the most up-to-date information from emergency officials, visit

Update, 9:28 p.m. October 29: The City of Boulder has announced that evacuation orders for a portion of the community due to the Dome fire will be maintained overnight -- and police patrols will be beefed up in an effort to prevent criminals from taking advantage.

Here are the details in a city release:

City maintains evacuations throughout the night, police will patrol area

The City of Boulder will maintain the mandatory evacuations for all businesses and residences west of 7th Street from Canyon Boulevard on the south to North Street on the north throughout the night and until further notice.

A strong police presence will be maintained in the area to ensure evacuation compliance and to patrol all neighborhoods for potential criminal activity.

The evacuation center established at the Coors Event Center, located on the University of Colorado Boulder campus, will be closed at 8 p.m. A new shelter will be opened at 7 p.m. at the East Boulder Community Center, 5660 Sioux Drive. This facility will offer overnight accommodations for people displaced by the fire and resulting evacuations.

"I know this is difficult news for residents who had hoped to return home this evening, but fire officials tell us this is necessary to ensure public safety, which remains our top priority," said City Manager Jane S. Brautigam. "We'd like to assure residents that we are doing all we can to protect their property and will continue to monitor the fire situation carefully."

The Dome wildfire originated near Dome Rock on City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks property.

And here are the most recent fire stats:

101/29, 8 p.m. Dome Fire overnight status

The fire is 144 acres in size.

60 firefighters, which includes three hand crews, will be working the fire overnight and building fire line for containment.

Tomorrow, 200 firefighters will work the fire and a single-engine air tanker and one helicopter will be flying fire suppression sorties.

Update, 4:58 p.m.: Here are maps of the burn area and evacuation zones as of this writing:

The first map shows the fire and the evacuated areas; the second depicts the same but without aerial overlays.

In addition, Xcel has shut off natural gas to the Knollwood subdivision. Here's that information:

10/29 16:15

Xcel Energy has shut off natural gas supply to the Knollwood subdivision

Xcel Energy has shut off the natural gas supply to all residences in the Knollwood area, including turning off the meter at each residence. Prior to turning the gas back on, each residence must turn its thermostat completely off, or risk a possible fire/explosion issue when the gas lines are recharged. Xcel has advised it will take approximately 4 hours to recharge the gas lines in the area. Fliers will be distributed to each affected home prior to evacuations being lifted to alert household about the actions they must take to restore natural gas at their homes.

Update, 2:14 p.m., October 29: There are already a slew of videos online showing the terrifying progress of the Dome fire near Boulder, which has reportedly scorched at 134 acres at this writing. Check out several of the latest:

Update, 1:01 p.m. October 29: Even more closures in Boulder due to the Dome fire. Here are the latest:

City of Boulder release:

Additional City of Boulder closures related to Dome Fire

The following additional city facilities or programs are closing due to the Dome Fire burning west of Boulder and related power outages:

• West Senior Center at 909 Arapahoe Ave.

• Children, Youth, and Families at 2610 Spruce St.

• Carnegie Branch Library at 1125 Pine St.

• Iris Center and studio at 3198 Broadway

• Salberg Center at 19th and Elder

South Boulder Recreation Center and East Boulder Community Center are both open and programming continues as scheduled.

Residents are encouraged to monitor Boulder County Emergency Management website at for further information and evacuation updates.

Update, 12:46 p.m. October 29: More closures due to the Dome fire, including the Boulder Public Library. Here's the latest list in a City of Boulder release:

City of Boulder closures related to Dome Fire

The following city facilities or programs are closing or being cancelled due to the Dome Fire burning west of Boulder:

• Boulder Public Library Main Branch will close at 1:30 p.m. today due to anticipated power outages. All other branches will remain open.

• All regularly scheduled and daily drop-in youth and adult classes at the North Boulder Recreation Center have been cancelled due to health concerns about the smoke. The recreation center will be open for walk-in fitness and swimming until further notice.

• All downtown city offices closed at 12:30 p.m. today due to anticipated rolling power outages.

• Municipal Court in the Boulder County Justice Center at 6th Street and Canyon Blvd. has closed.

The power outages are due to Xcel Energy's work to de-energize power lines in the burn area for safety reasons and to assist fire crews conducting back burn operations.

Residents are encouraged to monitor the Boulder County Emergency Management website at for further information and evacuation updates.

Update, 12:09 p.m. October 29: The Dome fire's impact is already far-reaching. The City of Boulder has just announced that the municipal court has evacuated the Justice Center at 6th and Canyon due to the blaze. Anticipated reopening: Monday at 8 a.m. More below.

Update, 11:59 a.m. October 29: The evacuation area for the Dome fire near Boulder has already been expanded. The northern border is now North Street. More info below:

Original item, 11:34 a.m. October 29: It's only been a few weeks since the Boulder Fourmile Canyon fire and the Loveland-area Reservoir Road fire turned locals' lives upside-down -- and now another blaze, dubbed the Dome fire, has forced evacuations in West Boulder. Photos and more info below:

Westword contributor Boyd Fletcher happened to be in the Boulder area this morning and captured these photos of the blaze. Look below to see one more shot, as well as releases from the Boulder County Sheriff's Office and the City of Boulder about the early stages of the fight and the evacuation order. Boulder County Sheriff's Office release:

The Dome Fire

Today, at approximately 8:10 a.m., Boulder County Sheriff's deputies and firefighters with the Four Mile Fire Protection District were dispatched to approximately the 40,000 block of Boulder Canyon on a Wildfire. Initial responders observed a fire on the north side of Boulder Canyon in the area of the Dome. Additional firefighters and fire fighting equipment have been requested, which includes a single engine air tanker.

Currently, firefighters are fighting two fires in this area. The first and initial fire is estimated to be approximately five acres in size. The second fire, which is believed to have been started by blowing embers from the first fire, is estimated to be one acre in size.

The fires are moving in a northerly direction being driven by winds in the area. At this time the Sheriff's Office is asking people to evacuate if they live in Canon Park (mouth of Boulder Canyon) or lower Sunshine Canyon (from the mouth of Sunshine Canyon to Poorman Road), which include the subdivisions Seven Hills, Timber Lane, and Knollwood. An evacuation center is being set up the University of Colorado Coors Event Center north parking lot.

Approximately 24 firefighters are currently fighting the fire from the following fire departments:

Four Mile Fire Protection District

Boulder Rural Fire Protection District

Sugarloaf Fire Protection District

Lefthand Fire Protection District

City of Boulder Fire Department

Rocky Mountain Fire Protection District

Boulder Sheriff's Fire Crew

Additional information will be released as the incident develops.

City of Boulder press release:

City orders evacuations of selected west Boulder neighborhoods

The City of Boulder has begun mandatory evacuations of neighborhoods in west Boulder. All residences and businesses within the following boundaries are being ordered to evacuate: west of 7th Street from Canyon Boulevard on the south to High Street on the north. An evacuation center has been established at the Coors Event Center on the University of Colorado -- Boulder campus. There are an estimated 1,700 people and 800 units within these boundaries.

The evacuations are in response to the Dome wildfire in Boulder Canyon near Dome Rock on City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks property. More than two dozen firefighters are on scene working the fire, and a one-seat plane has been making drops of retardant in the area. Additional ground and air support has been requested.

"As a precaution and to aid responders dealing with the Dome Fire, we are ordering a mandatory evacuation in some neighborhoods within the city," said City Manager Jane S. Brautigam. "We are asking that residents follow the directions of emergency crews now so that emergency equipment can be positioned and crews can focus on extinguishing the wildfire. Resident and business cooperation is greatly appreciated as we work to contain this fire."

Frequent updates are being posted to

More from our News archive: "Fourmile Canyon parade thanks firefighters the weird, wonderful Boulder way: See video here."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts