Firefighters continue to fight the Maxwell wildfire in Lefthand Canyon in the northwest foothills of Boulder on Monday. The fast-moving blaze has consumed approximately 60 acres.
Firefighters have reached 80 percent containment of the 60 acre fire in Lefthand Canyon in northwest Boulder that has been burning since Sunday evening.
9News reports that about 200 firefighters and additional personnel are assisting in fighting the fire along with two hotshot crews, 23 engines and two type-2 crews.
The Daily Camera reports that investigators have determined that the cause of the Maxwell Fire was a campfire that was left unattended on U.S. Forest Service land on the north side of Lefthand Canyon Drive.
As of Tuesday morning, after temperatures remained mild all day Monday, firefighters had the Maxwell Fire in Lefthand Canyon in northwest Boulder 40 percent contained.
With temperatures forecast to reach near-record highs beginning Tuesday with the possibility of triple-digit temperatures by Wednesday and Thursday, firefighters are concerned that their successful efforts to contain the wildfire may be stifled.
The National Weather Service forecast highs in the mid-90s and upper-90s for Boulder Tuesday through Thursday with winds reaching 10-15 MPH all week.
Brian Oliver, wildland fire fuels-management supervisor for the city of Boulder said in a statement to The Denver Post:
There's just a massive accumulation of fuel for the fire just available and ready to burn. When you have it hot, dry and windy, it's just ready to go.
Firefighters have the Maxwell Fire in Lefthand Canyon in Boulder 25 percent contained early Monday, according to the Daily Camera. Elsha Kerby, a Forest Service spokeswoman, said that the humidity reached as high as 70 percent overnight Sunday and firefighters credited that cold front with helping to stabilize this quickly moving blaze in the 4000 block of Lefthand Canyon Drive, near the 3.7 miles marker.
The Daily Camera goes onto report that as of Monday morning, approximately three homes just off Lefthand Canyon Drive remain under mandatory evacuation. "Lots of good news today," Kirby said to The Daily Camera with regards to the containment, weather and effort by the firefighters. "Hopefully we take advantage of it."
Fox31 reports that 340 reverse 911 calls were received by Boulder residents on Sunday night, warning them to be on standby for a possible evacuation -- so far no residents have been evacuated.
The fire started around 5 p.m. on Sunday. Currently 100 firefigters are battling the fire on the ground with six to seven engines along with three air tankers that had already been making air drops of fire retardant before the sunset and will continue air drops on Monday, according to CBSDenver.
According to the Forest Service, the fire is mostly on the steep slopes north of Lefthand Canyon where there are “dead and down materials,” The Denver Post reports.
This is the second time a wildfire has broken out in this area of Boulder this year. In March, a wildfire burned 622 acres of National Forest in Lefthand Canyon.
The cause of the fire is still unknown.