A public information officer spoke with KDVR's Emily Allen and would not specify the exact cause of the blaze but instead listed off a number of possibilities, including the idea that a piece of glass thrown on the ground may have magnified and started the fire.
"We recognize the conditions are dry and hot", Gov. John HIckenlooper said in a statement.
Far across the state about 95 km west of Denver, a newer blaze called the Buffalo Mountain fire prompted the mandatory evacuation of 1,380 homes after blackening a comparatively small area of just 100 acres, Summit County officials said.
The Forest Service also advised all dispersed campers near the fire area relocate to other areas of the forest.
"They are waiting to see how the weather progresses to determine if this is the day and the time to do those back-burns", Knight said.
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The order is effective Friday for the Mountainair and Sandia districts, and in place June 22 for the Mount Taylor district.
In Colorado's mountains, residents have evacuated more than 1,300 houses - condos, apartments and pricey homes - as flames threatened an area known for its ski resorts. Crews will continue to patrol the corridor for hot spots and to watch for spot fires.
A Type 2 Incident Management Team was ordered Monday afternoon.
National Forest Service officials told residents of 163 more homes near the fire in the southwestern Colorado to be ready to leave Thursday - as well as residents who had been allowed to return to 180 homes on Wednesday.
The communities of Mountain Home, Wold Tract, and Wycolo are under evacuation orders from Albany County officials.
Residents of almost 860 homes were ordered to flee on Sunday, bringing to about 2,000 the number of dwellings placed under evacuation, said spokeswoman Megan Graham for La Plata County, Colorado. Years ago, he said fire departments were hesitant to commit resources to fighting every fire, and launching a coordinated response to a major blaze could take up to two days.
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The fire is still under investigation.
Evacuees are being asked to check in at the Harmony School off Wyoming Highway 230.
Summit Fire and U.S. Forest Service crews are responding to the fire.
That means some of the trails in the Sandia foothills will be open in part and closed once hikers leave city property and enter the forest, he said.
"We were working on our yard when a neighbor said 'you guys better get ready to evacuate come look at this, '" Amy Purdy wrote on Twitter.
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