A large fire is currently burning northeast of the town of Nederland, Colorado, where Eldora Mountain Resort calls home. The “Cold Springs Fire,” which started on Saturday afternoon, is now burning on 606 acres with zero percent containment. Five homes and three other structures have been destroyed so far, and about 2,000 residents have been evacuated. As of Sunday night, the Rocky Mountain Type 2 Incident Management Team, a federally certified crew, has taken over operations in the area.
Eldora Mountain Resort, the 680-acre ski area located just outside Boulder, sits to the southwest of town, and appears to be, at least for the moment, safe from the wrath of the blaze. According to JP Chevalier, director of marketing and skier services for Eldora Mountain Resort, “at this point in time [Eldora Mountain Resort] is west and south of the fire, and the [current] direction of the blaze poses no immediate danger to the facilities.” Chevalier went on to add that “we’re all clearly concerned and deeply moved by the threat of this blazing fire.”
A Monday morning statement from the Boulder Office of Emergency Management noted that firefighters battling the wildfire are expecting “erratic, gusty winds up to 35 miles per hour” combined with low relative humidity. According to the Incident Information System officials note that, “predictions of fire growth indicate the potential for significant structure and infrastructure loss.”
In the event of shifting winds—which are currently blowing from the south and west—the direction and reach of the fire could alter the current threat to the resort. According to Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle, speaking during a community meeting Monday afternoon, the fire is currently moving east but that could change by Tuesday.
Two out-of-state campers, Jimmy Andrew Suggs, 28, and Zackary Ryan Kuykendall, 26, of Vinemont, Alabama, have been arrested and booked into Boulder County Jail. The two men are facing felony arson charges after failing to adequately put out a campfire that is the cause of the volatile blaze. As a result of the many lives put in danger by the fire, officials issued the felony charges on the duo.
Moving forward, crews will continue to fight the fire throughout the coming days, with plans to enact direct and indirect attacks as well as point protection. Both air and ground personnel will work together to contain the existing fire perimeter. Evacuation centers are currently set up at Nederland High School (located about four miles east of Eldora) and the East Boulder Recreation Center.
For more, be sure to follow Boulder Office of Emergency Management on Twitter.
Editor’s Note: A GoFundMe page has been set up to aid Nederland locals and community firefighters Bretlyn and Charlie Schmidtmann, who lost their home in the fire. Additionally, a general fire relief fund has been set up through The United Way.