Mandatory evacuations in 403 Fire to be lifted

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Posted at 1:59 PM, Apr 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-02 12:11:08-04

UPDATE | The Teller County Sheriff’s Office announced on Sunday that residents who were evacuated will be allowed to return home. People who were under mandatory evacuation will change to a pre-evacuation status. They will be allowed to return to their homes after 12 p.m. on Sunday. Homes that were under pre-evacuation status before will remain at that status.

DENVER — The 403 Fire, burning in Teller and Park counties, grew Saturday to about 1,388 acres, but firefighters have managed to reach 25% containment, according to fire officials.

The fire started in Park County around 11 a.m. Thursday and quickly spread amid strong winds through grasses and into forested areas, according to the Teller County Sheriff's Office.

Multiple evacuation and pre-evacuation orders were issued on Thursday and those orders remain in place as of Saturday night. Click here for an interactive map that shows both evacuation orders and the fire's perimeter.

The following places remain under mandatory evacuation orders:

· South Park Road off County Road 403, eight miles south of Lake George
· County Road 46 to Wilson Drive. The closest major intersection is County Road 46 and Blue Mountain Drive
· Wilson Lakes and Forest Glen subdivisions. The closest major intersection is County Road 403 and County Road 98
· Within a mile of County Road 403 and Alpine Meadow Lane

A pre-evacuation warning was issued for La Montana Mesa, Las Brisas, Valley Hi and Florissant Heights subdivisions.

Sheriff Mikesell said 123 firefighters are working to protect at least $600 million worth of structures in the area of the fire, according to Denver7 partners at KOAA-TV. However, no structures had been lost.

An update from the sheriff's office Saturday evening said crews were using planned burns as a means of controlling the fire. Some of those burns caused the smoke plumes to appear to be growing, according to a sheriff's office public information officer in an explanation posted to YouTube.

The sheriff's office added that donations are needed in both impacted counties.

Park County donations can be dropped off at the Lake George Fire Station (8951 County Road 90) and the Teller County donations can go to the sheriff's office in Divide (11400 US 24). Items like eye drops, cough drops, water and Gatorade are needed. In addition, the Teller County Regional Animal Shelter said it needs paper towels and bleach. Donations can be dropped off at 308 Weaverville Road in Divide.

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