Wildfire west of Denver now 50 percent contained | VailDaily.com

Wildfire west of Denver now 50 percent contained

CONIFER, Colo. – A wind-whipped wildfire in the foothills west of Denver quickly grew and threatened hundreds of homes Tuesday but was about 50 percent contained by early evening.

The Jefferson County sheriff’s office lifted an evacuation order issued earlier in the day for 340 homes in Conifer after the fire scorched 10 to 12 acres. Sheriff’s spokeswoman Jacki Kelley said residents were allowed to return home, but the power in the area would remain out through the night.

No property damage or injuries were reported.

Authorities believe that electrical wires downed by strong winds started the fire in rural Jefferson County, but were still investigating. The strong winds quickly spread the flames.

The houses nearest to the fire were just a few feet away, Kelley said. Several firefighters defended individual homes.

A few trees burned, but the fire was burning mostly in grass and bushes.

“I came home to find a pile of smoke and bunch of fire equipment in our driveway,” Judy Lyons said.

About 60 firefighters from Elk Creek and other departments were battling the fire. Kelley said the crews would stay on the fire lines through the night.

“The crews felt pretty confident about making progress,” Kelley said.

Rising humidity and decreasing winds were forecast, boosting hopes that the fire would remain calm overnight.

A second fire that burned two acres near Evergreen and forced the evacuation of three homes has been contained.

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