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Fire at apparent transient camp suspected of sparking blaze

By: The Associated Press
March 21, 2017 Updated: March 21, 2017 at 3:19 pm
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Caption +
Crews walk towards the fire as they battle the Sunshine Fire in the Sunshine canyon area of Boulder, Colo. on Sunday, March 19, 2017. The small wildfire forced people from their homes early Sunday and ignited dead trees that exploded into black plumes of smoke, authorities and residents said. (Jeremy Papasso/Daily Camera via AP)

BOULDER, Colo. — Investigators believe a wildfire that forced about 400 people from their homes near Boulder was sparked by a campfire in an apparent transient camp.

Authorities said early on that they suspected the fire was somehow human-caused and that hikers and campers frequented the area where it erupted on Sunday.

Colorado Wildfire
Crews battle the Sunshine Fire in the Sunshine canyon area of Boulder, Colo. on Sunday, March 19, 2017. The small wildfire forced people from their homes early Sunday and ignited dead trees that exploded into black plumes of smoke, authorities and residents said. (Jeremy Papasso/Daily Camera via AP) 

On Tuesday, the day after evacuees were allowed back to their homes and the fire was contained, the Boulder County Sheriff's Office said investigators pinpointed the origin of the fire to a hastily built fire ring on a city-owned open space park just outside city limits. No suspects have been identified.

The fire spread to about 70 acres but no homes were destroyed. It cost about $725,000 to fight.

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