Oct. 19 (UPI) -- Two wildfires in Colorado's Boulder County that caused the evacuations of thousands and scorched 26 homes remained relatively stable Monday, officials said, but dry weather and gusty winds may pose problems.
The CalWood fire is about 15% contained at 8,788 acres, or about 13 square miles, and the LeftHand fire is about 4% contained and grew slightly to 320 acres, according to Troy Hagan, spokesman for Rocky Mountain Team Black, which is managing the fires.
"Despite yesterday's higher humidity, fuels remain critically dry and fire activity is expected to increase midday as humidity decreases and heat will be stoked by the increasing winds," the agency said Monday.
About 250 firefighters are attempting to stop the CalWood blaze by building a fireline to the west to protect multimillion-dollar homes in the mountains west of Boulder. More than 26 homes in foothill suburbs have been destroyed, the Boulder Office of Emergency Management said.
"There were baby books that I didn't grab, and I'm regretting it," Courtney Walsh told the Denver Post on Sunday as she fought back tears thinking about her home 6 miles north of Boulder that was completely burned.
"Those are the one thing I always thought, 'I have to grab those if anything happens,' and I just didn't. I froze," Walsh said.
The causes of the two fires are under investigation, Boulder County sheriff's officials said.
The two Boulder area fires are about 50 miles southeast of the Cameron Peak Fire, the largest in Colorado's history, which has burned more than 203,000 acres and is 62% contained.
More than 1,400 firefighters have been battling the blaze in Larimer County, which has raged since Aug. 13. The fire has burned homes and structures near Colorado State University's mountain campus in Pingree Park.
Although an overcast day Sunday was helpful to firefighters, the Cameron Peak blaze is expected to be made worse by gusty winds and continued dry conditions expected to continue Monday, the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control said.
"This fire is dynamic, and due to the complexities of the fire, we've got to put the resources where the needs are," said Paul Delmerico, operations section chief for Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team 1 in a video update.
Drought conditions across the state and high mountain areas now burning have made the Cameron Peak fire more challenging to control.
Air quality on the Colorado Front Range has been poor for weeks, with particulate matter and smoke making it dangerous for people with health conditions, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has reported.