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Homes near 37E Fire in Larimer County narrowly spared by flames

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Posted at 5:22 PM, Apr 17, 2022

LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. — All evacuations in the Blue Mountain area were lifted at noon Sunday after firefighters gained control of the 37E Fire that had been burning since Friday afternoon.

"I will say that, probably, we had ten minutes, at most, to get out," Johanna Zeh said Sunday.

She and her partner Dave were forced to evacuate their home after a fire sparked and spread quickly.

"I grabbed the phone, looked out the other living room windows and saw the flames racing down the gully," Zeh said. "I threw the cat in the carrier [under a] mandatory evacuation, and we were out of here."

The fire ended up burning at least 114 acres and was 100% contained by Sunday afternoon. No structures were lost, according to the Larimer County Sheriff's Office, likely because of the direction the wind blew and the hard work by multiple firefighters.

"We were tossing a mental coin on, 'We've lost the house and everything else,' and, 'Maybe it will go around us,'" Zeh said.

Despite their close call, Zeh has no plans to move. It'll take more than a fire to keep them away from the views of the hills.

"We wanted to get out of the city. We accepted the risks," Zeh said. "You try and mitigate them with fire mitigation, brushwork, surveys."

The 37E Fire is one of more than a dozen to have burned in Colorado so far this month, according to the Rocky Mountain Area Coordination Center.