CalWood fire quickly burns 7,000 acres outside Boulder, adds to wildfire problems near Front Range |

CalWood fire quickly burns 7,000 acres outside Boulder, adds to wildfire problems near Front Range

Sam Tabachnik and Matt Sebastian
The Denver Post
The Cal Wood fire, northwest of Boulder sends up a large plume of smoke seen from Highway 93 on Saturday October 17, 2020. (Photo by Eric Lutzens/The Denver Post)
Eric Lutzens / The Denver Post

An explosive new wildfire northwest of Boulder burned more than 7,000 acres in a matter of hours Saturday, forcing the evacuation of Jamestown and wide swaths of the Boulder County foothills while sending skyward a tower of billowing smoke that could be seen across the metro area.

Burning between Jamestown and Lyons, the CalWood fire is believed to already have destroyed “a number of structures,” though that remains unconfirmed, Mike Wagner, division chief with the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office, said during a briefing Saturday night.

“It just exploded,” Wagner said of the late-season wildfire.

The fast-moving new fire ignited on a dry, windy day that also saw continued growth of the 2-month-old Cameron Peak fire in Larimer County — the largest wildfire in Colorado’s recorded history nearing 200,000 acres — and the more recent East Troublesome fire, which started Wednesday in Grand County.

Sunday, firefighters will take to the air again as additional resources are expected to pour in to combat the fire.

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