Careless Campfire Wreaks Havoc on the Town of Nederland, Colorado

After a disquieting six days, the Cold Springs Fire in Nederland, Colorado is now 80 percent contained. The fire which ignited at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 9, 2016, rapidly escalated from a small 100-square-foot area to nearly 257 acres by nightfall, as explained by Boulder Fire Department Incident Commander, Michael Smith. The cause of the fire? A careless campfire set on private land by traveling trespassers. Read more about the ignition in this piece for National Geographic by EO Editor Doug Schnitzspahn.

The high temperatures, low moisture, and gusty winds added to the blaze. Hundreds of homes were threatened and more than 2,000 residents were evacuated. As of Wednesday evening, a total of 606 acres have been burned. Eight homes and seven additional structured were lost. Boulder County Sheriff Pelle reported that crews expect to have the fire 100 percent contained by nightfall on Thursday, July 14. The mop-up operations will continue for weeks, if not months, to come. For updates, visit Boulder OEM.

Photographs by Jasmine Listou Bible.