Flagstaff fire update: Stuck at 90 percent contained, some open space areas still closed

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Pics, videos below.
Update: The Boulder Office of Emergency Management was so confident the Flagstaff fire outside of town was a thing of the past that a so-called "final update" was posted on Saturday afternoon. But despite predictions of 100 percent containment before the weekend was done, Flagstaff (the lesser of three Front Range evils that include the High Park fire near Fort Collins and Colorado Springs's Waldo Canyon fire) has some life in it yet.

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Courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service
The most recent update from the now-outdated InciWeb page devoted to Flagstaff lists containment of the 300 acre fire at 90 percent, and according to the Boulder Daily Camera, that's where it stands as of this writing. The reason: access issues to that stubborn final 10 percent.

For this reason, the City of Boulder is informing locals that limited fire-related closures in Open Space and Mountain Parks lands remain in effect. Off-limits zones include OSMP-managed lands north of Shadow Canyon, east of Bison Drive and west of Mesa Trail (although the trail itself has been reopened). Additionally, the Bear Canyon Trail, also to the west of Mesa Trail, is still closed, including the area south to Shadow Canyon.

In the meantime, Boulder officials are concerned that improper use of the areas that are no longer closed could cause more problems. They note that all sources of ignition, including smoking materials, lighters, grills, campfires and, yes, fireworks, are prohibited, with violation of a ban on the latter could result in a $1,000 fine and ninety days in jail.

Look below to see an updated map of the areas that remain closed, as well as another U.S. Forest Service photo of the blaze, followed by our previous coverage.

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The closure map. Off-limits areas are in red.

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Courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service
Update 6:58 a.m. June 29: Given the horrors inflicting on the residents of Colorado Springs by the Waldo Canyon fire, and those living in and around Fort Collins by the High Park fire, Boulderites should be counting their blessings. The Flagstaff fire near the town limits, which seemed so threatening just a few days ago, has turned out to be far less damaging than feared, and 100 percent containment could come as early as this weekend.

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Photo by Brandon Marshall
The Boulder Office of Emergency Management website's latest update, from last night, puts the current containment at around 40 percent -- up just a smidge from yesterday. But while wind gusts overnight were expected to potentially stir hot spots, necessitating crews on hand to stay alert, the conditions on the ground mitigate against huge growth. (A spot fire on Green Mountain flared up yesterday afternoon, but was soon brought under control.) And indeed, the acreage consumed remains in the range of 300. That's a mere speck in comparison with the 16,000-plus engulfed at Waldo Canyon, not to mention the more than 87,000 associated with High Park.

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Photo by Brandon Marshall
No structures have been destroyed by Flagstaff, and residents in south Boulder who'd been asked to keep their sprinklers running as a way to dampen potential fuel were given the all-clear to turn the systems off around 4 p.m.

As the Boulder Daily Camera points out, experts say areas within the burn zone could smolder and smoke for months before finally flickering out of existence. But all the evacuees are now back home, and before long, the Flagstaff fire may be little more than a memory.

Look below to see more photos from our Flagstaff fire gallery, followed by our previous coverage.

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Photo by Brandon Marshall

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Photo by Brandon Marshall
Page down to see our previous coverage.

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