Fort Collins Coloradoan
Published 12:29 PM EDT Sep 7, 2020
Editor’s note: We’re making this story free to read due to public safety concerns. But we rely on the support of subscribers to be able to do this work. Please help us by subscribing to the Coloradoan.
The Cameron Peak Fire has burned through nearly 60,000 acres in the mountains west of Fort Collins, more than doubling in size over the Labor Day weekend.
Glacier View Meadows, one of the largest mountain communities northwest of Fort Collins, was ordered to evacuate shortly before 10 a.m. Monday. The residential subdivision includes about 970 lots north of Colorado Highway 14 and west of Livermore, according to its property owners association webpage.
Shortly after 10 a.m., a mandatory evacuation was called from Stove Prairie Landing at Colorado 14 south on Larimer County Road 27 to County Road 44H, including Stratton Park. The entirety of Rist Canyon Road (County Road 52E) was placed on voluntary evacuation moments later.
Hot, windy conditions on Sunday pushed the fire to 59,051 acres, according to the federal fire crews fighting the fire. Updated mapping released Monday morning shows the fire pushed southeast of Colorado Highway 14, burning a large swath of the Roosevelt National Forest east to the south Fork of the Poudre River.
As expected, the fire reached firefighters’ line along Pingree Park Road northeast of the Colorado State University Mountain Campus. As of Sunday night, no additional structures had burned beyond a U.S. Forest Service Greenridge/Lost Lake trailhead outhouse that was damaged in August.
Firefighters continued working into Sunday night to protect structures along Highway 14 and Pingree Park Road, while monitoring the fire’s southern flank along Long Draw Road, according to Operations Section Chief Tom Barter.
The fire is now listed at 4% containment due to its continued growth. There are 795 personnel assigned to fight the fire.
The cause of the fire, which ignited Aug. 13, is believed to be of human origin but remains under investigation.
This story will be updated throughout the day Monday. Here’s what we know as of 9 a.m. Monday morning:
Firefighters expect another day of “extreme” fire activity due to high winds and low humidity. The fire is expected to make runs toward Buckhorn Canyon, the High Park Fire burn area, and both sides of the Poudre Canyon on Monday before cooler weather diminishes fire activity.
The National Weather Service’s red flag warning for the fire area will extend until 8 p.m. Monday, when it will be replaced with a winter storm warning as a cold front sweeps in.
That system is expected to dump up to 16 inches of snow on the burn area from Monday night into Wednesday morning, and drop 2-6 inches of snow in the lower elevations across Colorado’s northern Front Range.
Tuesday’s daytime high in Fort Collins is expected to be 33, a 57-degree swing from the expected high of 90 on Labor Day.
Cooler temperatures are expected to linger throughout the week, with overnight lows in the 30s in Fort Collins and daytime highs creeping toward 70 by Friday.
Smoke map: Track fire and smoke impacts in Fort Collins
Evacuations and closures
Fire activity continued to force expanded closures and evacuation orders over the holiday weekend.
For those impacted by an evacuation order, the American Red Cross set up an emergency shelter for evacuees at Cache la Poudre Middle School, 3515 W. Larimer County Road 54G, in Laporte. Shelter assistance is available to those who call 970-481-1243.
The Larimer County Humane Society is available to help shelter small animals and can be contacted at 970-226-3647, ext. 7. For help sheltering large animals, call Troy Badberg with the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office Posse at 970-443-3231.
Text the word LCEVAC to 888777 from your cellphone for evacuation updates.
Residents and businesses in areas under voluntary evacuation orders are encouraged to evacuate if they are concerned for their safety, feel they need extra time to exit, or have health conditions that may be aggravated by the fire.
Those under mandatory evacuation orders are instructed to evacuate immediately due to imminent fire danger.
Evacuations and closures instated Sunday and Monday were:
Voluntary evacuation order: 10:30 a.m. Monday: Larimer County Road 52E (Rist Canyon Road) including Davis Ranch Road, Whale Rock Road and west to County Road 27E.
Mandatory evacuation order: Shortly after 10 a.m., a mandatory evacuation was called from Stove Prairie Landing at Colorado 14 south on Larimer County Road 27 to County Road 44H, including Stratton Park.
Mandatory evacuation order: Shortly before 10 a.m. Monday, the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office announced the evacuation of Glacier View filings for residents and business occupants.
Closure: The U.S. Forest Service closed all of its lands west of the Roosevelt National Forest boundary, east of Colorado Forest State Park, south of Larimer County Road 80C and north of Rocky Mountain National Park and U.S. Highway 34.
The closure includes all campgrounds, many trails, trailheads and other sites in order to keep recreationists away from firefighting efforts.
Voluntary evacuation order: Stove Prairie Road (Larimer County Road 27) from Colorado Highway 14 south to County Road 44H, east to include County Road 41 and Stratton Park due to increased fire activity. Colorado 14 is also under a voluntary evacuation order from Kelly Flats to Stove Prairie Landing due to anticipated fire activity on Labor Day.Colorado Highway 14 is now closed west of Stove Prairie Landing, while County Road 74E is now closed at its intersection with County Road 37.
Voluntary evacuation order: Larimer County Road 74E, east from Red Feather and including the Shambhala Mountain Center, Lady Moon and Glacier View filings up to and including Hewlett Gulch Road, located west of mile marker 10.
Closure: Rocky Mountain National Park announced the closure of Trail Ridge Road, effective at 3 p.m. Sunday due to concerns of poor visibility as smoke from the Cameron Peak Fire inundates the park. The road that spans the park between Grand Lake and Estes Park is closed from the Colorado River Trailhead on the west to the Forest Canyon Overlook on the east. Park officials previously closed Old Fall River road and other areas on the park’s northern reaches due to wildfire activity.
Mandatory evacuation order: For the previous voluntary order for Buckhorn Road (Larimer County Road 44H) from Pennock Pass to County Road 27.
Coloradoan editor Eric Larsen can be reached at [email protected] or 970-224-7745. Support journalism in Fort Collins and subscribe today at offers.coloradoan.com/specialoffer.