Colorado wildfire: Badger fire near Hartsel contained

Firefighters on Thursday brought a 40-acre fire in South Park near Hartsel under control and evacuation orders have been lifted.

According to an online news release, Park County Sheriff Tom McGraw will pursue criminal charges related to the cause of the fire because investigators believe it ignited as a result of a homeowner’s “careless actions on their private property, in violation of the local fire ban.”

A Park County emergency bulletin listed the Badger fire as 100% contained, and authorities said evacuation orders for the Badger Creek Ranch area had been relaxed, allowing residents within a 5-mile radius to return home and be on “pre-evacuation” status.

The fire began on private land near Hartsel on Wednesday afternoon and was burning near Latigo Loop and McMurray Road.

Helicopter-backed fire suppression efforts Wednesday helped contain the fire to 40 acres.

According to the release, a firefighter was superficially burned during the response, but did not require medical attention.

Hot, dry and windy conditions in South Park and along Colorado’s Front Range and eastern plains this week created conditions favoring fire. The National Weather Service issued red flag fire danger warnings on Wednesday and Thursday urging residents to void burning outdoors and activities that generate sparks.

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