The first day of spring brought a few wildfires, evacuations, and clouds of smoke to the Front Range. The combination of 35 mph winds—almost strong enough to blow down firefighters—and a lack of moisture during winter only helped the Indian Gulch Fire near Golden, which has grown to more than 1,200 acres, prompting the evacuation of about 100 homes in the Golden Gate Canyon area (Denver Post). “It’s the perfect recipe for a fire disaster,” says sheriff’s spokesman Mark Techmeyer (Associated Press). As firefighters regroup today, with the fire only about 15 percent contained, they remain “very concerned” about wind gusts that could hit 50 mph.

9News has a slideshow of the fire, and Westword has assembled several compelling videos, one of which is embedded below. Hundreds more homes could be at risk. In all, three major fires had sprouted along the Front Range yesterday. The others were in Evergreen and Conifer, and have been contained (7News).