Update: Lime Gulch fire at 600 acres, thirty structures could be in blaze's path

Update: Yesterday, the Lime Gulch fire in southern Jefferson County seemed poised for enormous growth given its remote location and hot, dry weather that concerned firefighters.

Fortunately, the blaze's growth was rather modest. It only increased in size from 500 acres to 600 acres, with no homes damaged or injuries sustained. Yet plenty of dangers remain. The fire is still largely uncontained, conditions continue to be worrisome, and a slew of structures could be at risk if it really starts running.

The federal page dedicated to the Lime Gulch fire estimates containment at just 5 percent, due in part to the area where it gained a foothold.

Authorities believe it sparked to life due to thunderstorms that rolled through the area in the Conifer vicinity on Tuesday night.

Fire crews from the U.S. Forest Service and other local agencies responded quickly and aggressively. But the hazardous terrain might it tough for firefighters to even reach the fire, let alone begin to subdue it.

That necessitated the implementation of aerial resources to supplement those on the ground.

The plan calls for crews to start establishing containment lines around the fire, with the goal of keeping it south of the North Fork South Platte River and west of the South Platte River.

Meanwhile, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office issued a mandatory evacuation notice for residents living within a three-mile radius of Cathedral Spires.

The Inciweb page calculates 410 land line phones were contacted in that zone, with another 859 land lines received calls in areas on pre-evacuation alert status -- a one-mile radius around the intersection of South Pleasant Park Road and Kuehster Road, as well as a one-mile radius of Spring Creek Ranch.

Here are the road closures in impacted Jefferson County areas, as well as Douglas County:

Intersection of HWY 285 and Foxton Road is only accessible to local residents

Intersection of Foxton Road and Running Deer is closed

Intersection of South Platte River and Southwest Platte River (“Two Forks”) is closed

Intersection of HWY 126 and Buffalo Creek is closed

Waterton Canyon is closed

Intersection of HWY 67 and South Platte River is only accessible to local residents Nighthawk is closed

Also, access to the Colorado Trail off Highway 126 is closed at present.

The 283 personnel working Lime Gulch right now are doing their best to keep the conflagration from heading toward what 9News estimates at twenty to thirty structures that could be in the fire's path. Meanwhile, residents throughout the metro area who can see the fire's plume and smell the smoke it's spewing out will continue watching closely for any sign of gathering momentum.

Continue for more photos and video of the Lime Gulch fire, followed by our original coverage.
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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

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