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'Not again:' Boulder County residents react to NCAR Fire evacuations

NCAR Fire forced thousands to evacuate
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Posted at 5:06 PM, Mar 27, 2022

BOULDER, Colo. — For many people in Boulder, the NCAR Fire has brought memories of the Marshall Fire that tore through the county three months ago.

“Not again, you know. It's just too soon. We've had one in December, now March?” said evacuee, Elliott Bloom.

Bloom was one of the thousands in Boulder forced out of his home by the wildfire. He has been staying at the East Boulder Community Center, which opened up as an evacuation shelter after the fire sparked on Saturday.

On Sunday, the city of Boulder lifted all evacuation notices from the NCAR Fire, allowing all evacuees, including Bloom, to return home.

“As much as you try to get ready, have your box ready, have your stuff ready for the fire. It's just, you never know what to take, and you’re never all the way prepared,” added Bloom.

The NCAR Fire sparked just miles away from where flames tore through more than a thousand homes back in December.

“The Marshall Fire is kind of on the tip of everyone's tongue, and so I think that's fresh in everyone's mind,” said Bloom.

Fire crews said this time around, good preparation and planning played a key role.

During a press conference Sunday, officials with Boulder County Fire said this has been a group effort. Hundreds of firefighters from several different agencies have been coming together to battle the fire and protect all of the nearby homes.

“One of the things we learned from the Marshall Fire was how to rapidly escalate and integrate multiple agencies and get them to work together and I think we had a seamless process on this one. We continue to learn from every one of these fires and we certainly saw an improvement,” said Mike Smith, who is the incident commander with Boulder Fire Rescue.

Bloom said he was thankful to have so many agencies come together to help protect the community.

“It’s very comforting to know that we have this much help around us,” said Bloom.

While he's thankful to have a place to stay for the time being, he said his concerns haven't gone away.

“Until I can get home and get settled, you're kind of on edge,” said Bloom.