At least one person is confirmed dead after a twin-engine plane crash Sunday morning that sparked a small wildfire in the area between Lefthand Canyon Drive and Gold Hill Road, near Ward, northwest of Boulder.
Peter Knudson, a spokesperson for the National Transportation Safety Board, also confirmed that a total of four people were on board the Cessna T337G, and that he did not know of any survivors. An NTSB investigator was expected to be at the crash site Monday.
Confirmation of the total number of fatalities would be made later after additional investigation of the site, Knudson said.
Cmdr. Vinnie Montez of the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office, said the initial call about a plane crash in a heavily timbered area in the 11000 block of Lefthand Canyon Drive came in at 9:41 a.m.
Montez said the intense heat at the site made it impossible for investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration and the Boulder County Coroner’s Office to safely approach the aircraft Sunday afternoon.
As the wildfire raged after the crash, an evacuation warning was issued for residents near the 10000 block of Lefthand Canyon Drive and the towns of Gold Hill and Ward at 10:31 a.m., according to an Everbridge notification. The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office lifted that evacuation warning at 11:37 a.m.
Despite the dry conditions, multiple agencies from the surrounding areas, including Boulder Mountain Fire, Left Hand Fire, Colorado State Patrol and Indian Peaks Fire, responded to the crash site and managed to limit its spread to about one acre. As of Sunday evening it was reportedly 90% contained, with a smaller crew staying at the site throughout the night.
After the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office tweet lifting the evacuation order, area residents thanked fire and rescue crews via social media for their quick response.
Authorities were not able to provide details about the plane’s point of origin, its flight path or its destination.
The blaze was confined to a heavily timbered area and no structures were damaged.
Montez said several firefighters endured high levels of carbon dioxide levels and experienced breathing issues at the wreckage site and were treated at the scene.
He said additional details would be released when they were available.
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