Evergreen Wildfire Update, Map: Over 1,000 Colorado Homes Evacuated in Elephant Butte

A wildfire in Colorado near the Evergreen area of Jefferson County, about 30 miles west of Denver, saw the evacuation of "well over a 1,000 homes" on Monday, according to a spokesperson for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.

The sheriff's office issued evacuation orders for the Elephant Butte and Upper Bear Creek Road areas due to the threat of the blaze, dubbed the Elephant Butte Fire. The sheriff's office shared a map of the evacuation area in a post on its official Twitter account.

"UPDATED #ElephantButteFire evacuation area seen here. Total evacuation area is now Upper Bear Creek Road south to Buffalo Park Road east to Highway 73. CodeRed was just sent out. Fire is now at 30-40 acres. Structure protection in place #jeffco. We're currently working on more evacuations and will tweet those details as soon as residents have been notified," the sheriff's office noted on Twitter.

UPDATED #ElephantButteFire evacuation area seen here. Total evacuation area is now Upper Bear Creek Road south to Buffalo Park Road east to Highway 73. CodeRed was just sent out. Fire is now at 30-40 acres. Structure protection in place #jeffco pic.twitter.com/6fUA4tvctO

— Jeffco Sheriff (@jeffcosheriffco) July 13, 2020

As of Monday evening, the fire was reported to be at 50 acres, with zero percent contained. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, the sheriff's office confirmed on Twitter.

CodeRed alerts (sent out by local emergency response teams in the event of emergency situations) were initially sent to a five-mile radius of 250 homes, according to a post on the official Twitter account of the sheriff's office.

The alerts were later expanded to 700 homes just before 5 p.m. local time, the Denver7 News reported.

"Thus far CodeRed has done 2950 phone calls, sent 1070 text messages & sent 826 emails," the sheriff's office confirmed in a tweet.

Over 100 responders from various agencies, including Evergreen Fire Rescue, the Elk Creek Fire Protection District and Platte Canyon Fire, were reported to be fighting the fire, the sheriff's office confirmed in a tweet.

Operations for the #ElephantButteFire will use CodeRed when they lift any evacuation orders. However, they do NOT expect any to be lifted over night. Sign up for CodeRed: https://t.co/OhS9dTEK0D pic.twitter.com/Z4aCw93wt7

— Jeffco Sheriff (@jeffcosheriffco) July 14, 2020

Firefighters were temporarily pulled from tackling the fire due to the threat of lightning. Two hotshot crews were reported to be examining the situation to assess when firefighters can return, CBS Denver reported.

At a news briefing, Evergreen Fire Rescue officials noted they feared winds from upcoming storms could potentially spread the blaze further, Denver7 News reported.

Two evacuation centers have been opened at two schools, including Evergreen Middle School and King Murphy Elementary in Clear Creek County, the county's Office of Emergency Management (OEM) confirmed in a post on Twitter.

Jefferson County Sheriff's Office (JCSO) Animal Control and other large animal agencies were reported to be on standby to assist people with moving any animals to the Jefferson County Fairgrounds or the Foothills Animal Shelter in Golden, Colorado, the sheriff's office confirmed.

Last month, mandatory evacuations were ordered following the Chatridge 2 fire in Colorado's Douglas County, which burned 461 acres.

Colorado, wildfire, June 2020
On June 29, the Chatridge 2 fire burned 461 acres south of Denver in Littleton, Colorado. Getty Images