Elephant Butte Fire Evacuation Orders Lifted Tuesday Evening

Evergreen Elephant Butte Fire
Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Helicopters pull water from Evergreen Lake and drop it on the Elephant Butte Fire in nearby Upper Bear Creek, Tuesday, July 14, 2020.

UPDATED 7/14/2020 7:30 PM

All Elephant Butte Fire evacuations were lifted at 7 p.m. Tuesday. The National Weather Service said about a half-inch of rain fell over the area in the last 24 hours. Jefferson County Sheriff's Office said that was enough water to help lift the evacuation order.

Some Evacuation orders for the Elephant Butte Fire in Jefferson County will be lifted at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Residents who live on the north side of Buffalo Park Road between Le Masters Road and South Jackpine Road, north and south on Le Masters Road, Buffalo Creek Road, Buffalo Creek Drive and South Elk Ridge Road are still under evacuation orders.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said that deputies will be stationed at checkpoints to make sure only residents are returning to the area.

The fire is 25 percent contained and has burned about 50 acres. Helicopters have dropped water on hotspots and officials said they had more control over the fire Tuesday. 

Monday’s evacuation order was in place for about 1,000 homes near Evergreen.

Cooler weather and some rain helped crews battling the fire on Tuesday. Helicopters were dousing the fire with water from Evergreen Lake throughout the day.

But warm weather Wednesday may complicate firefighting efforts said Mike Taplin, spokesman for Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.

"The drier, hotter weathers are always worse for fighting fires. It's better to have cooler and moisture temperatures," he said.

Between 80 and 100 firefighters worked on the fire Tuesday.