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A wildfire that began as a house fire on Sunshine Canyon Road west of Mount Sanitas forced the evacuation of people living in the Pine Brook Hills and Seven Hills neighborhoods of Boulder County on Dec. 19, 2022. (Steve Peterson, Special to The Colorado Sun)

Evacuation orders in Sunshine Canyon remained in place Tuesday morning as crews worked to contain a wildfire that sparked Monday afternoon amid wind gusts of 45 mph.

The fire destroyed one house, where the fire started, and damaged another, Boulder County’s Office of Emergency Management said Tuesday afternoon.

Sixty firefighters were working to gain control of the fire that forced more than 930 people to evacuate their homes in Boulder County, the office said. 

As of 9:15 a.m. Tuesday, 450 people from 167 homes were still under mandatory evacuation orders as authorities reported the Sunshine Wildland fire was 40% contained. Authorities said the fire was 19 acres as of Tuesday morning. Light wind, at about 7 mph, is forecast for Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service office in Boulder. 

The fire started as a structure fire and quickly jumped into wildland, threatening nearby popular hiking trails near Mount Sanitas and nearly 350 homes in Sunshine Canyon. Authorities did not release details about the initial structure fire. 

Fire crews also scrambled to extinguish a second, smaller fire near Four Mile Canyon on Monday night. Flames 5-feet tall were reported about 11:30 p.m. burning in a yard near a mulch pile and had a slow spread, the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

 The Sunshine Wildland fire was fueled by strong westerly winds from 15 to 25 mph. It broke out nearly a year after the wind-driven Marshall fire destroyed more than 1,000 homes in nearby Louisville, Superior and Boulder County.

Olivia Prentzel covers breaking news and a wide range of other important issues impacting Coloradans for The Colorado Sun, where she has been a staff writer since 2021. At The Sun, she has covered wildfires, criminal justice, the environment,...