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Wildfires are burning just to the west of Vail and now just to the east after an approximately 100-acre fire erupted on the flanks of Buffalo Mountain just above Silverthorne on Tuesday, forcing the evacuation of nearly 1,400 homes
The 415-acre Bocco fire near Wolcott forced evacuations on Sunday, but that fire has been largely contained and residents allowed home. Two smaller fires — one in Avon and one in East Vail — were quickly exstinguished on Monday.
An unusually dry winter, high temperatures and winds have led to the outbreak of recent fires, and Eagle County officials on Tuesday instituted a “Stage 1” fire ban prohibiting open burning on all private land in the county. Click here for more fire ban information.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper on Tuesday issued a statement on Tuesday regarding the impact of the fires burning throughout Colorado, singling out the new Buffalo Mountain fire in Summit County.
The governor added that state agencies “are fully engaged in providing support for managing the other fires as well, including the 416 Fire near Durango, the Burro Fire in Montezuma County, the Bocco Fire in Eagle County, and the Emery Gap Fire in Las Animas County.”
Hickenlooper said the state is already spending a lot of money on the current wildfires and expects to spend even during what forecasters predict will be a very busy wildfire season.
“Colorado has allocated more resources for fire fighting than any other state in the Rocky Mountain West,” Hickenlooper said. “We have seven interagency heavy air tankers fighting the Colorado fires and, through experience, we have learned how to integrate our state resources with our federal, county and municipal resources.
“We recognize the conditions are dry and hot. Public health and safety are the top priorities in fighting any fire. If you are in the fire zones, please follow safety procedures and directives. Our state agencies are here to support you. As we have proved time and time again, Coloradans are resilient.”