Cameron Peak Fire Grows To 102,596 Acres As Snow Begins To Fall – CBS Denver

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LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) Cameron Peak Fire grew to 102,596 acres on Tuesday morning with just 4% containment. The fire is the fourth largest wildfire in Colorado history.

Colorado firefighters had to bundle up before tackling the Cameron Peak Fire on Tuesday as snow fell.

The Cameron Peak Fire in Rist Canyon (credit: Larimer County)

The Cameron Peak Fire nearly tripled in size since Saturday.

“It’s pretty nerve wracking. We’ve been watching it started. In fact I heard the initial call the day the fire started,” said Steve Childs, a resident or Glen Haven.

Glen Haven, located northeast of Estes Park, was placed on a voluntary evacuation notice due to the fire.

PHOTO GALLERY: Cameron Peak Fire

Childs owns the Glen Haven Genera Store, which attracts thousands of tourists a year to the town for its renowned cinnamon rolls. Customers and tourists told Childs they were concerned about the fire’s potential to grow even larger.

“When your town is inundated with smoke, ash and orange skies you start getting a little nervous,” Childs told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas. “Sunday and Monday it got really nasty. The fire blew up. 102,000 acres is a sizable fire.”

Childs said some locals packed up and evacuated voluntarily. As a former firefighter Childs said he was concerned, yet not willing to evacuate yet. However, he said he did move his camper from his property so that it wouldn’t be in the way of the fire skipped toward Glen Haven unexpectedly.

“You’re always concerned with a fire of this magnitude,” Childs said.

The Cameron Peak Fire is burning 25 miles east of Walden and 15 miles southwest of Red Feather Lakes. The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office is investigating reports of damaged structures in two different areas, Monument Gulch and Rustic, but trees blocking the roads are making it difficult to confirm the extent of the damage.

(credit: CBS)

A spokesperson representing those battling the blaze said the fire would not be extinguished by the snow. The terrain is filled with dry brush which would need to soak for several days to completely stop the blaze.

“We are hoping this snow storm will put a damper on it and allow them to get a handle on the boundary edges of it,” Childs said.

The evacuation status for the following Cameron Peak Fire areas was downgraded to voluntary from mandatory on Tuesday morning: Crystal Lakes, Red Feather Lakes, Lady Moon, Red Feather Highlands, the Shambhala Center, all Glacier View filings, as well as the area south of Highway 14 on County Road 27 from Stove Prairie Landing south to County Road 44H to include Stratton Park.

RELATED: Cameron Peak Fire: Structural Damage Feared As Fire Grows To 4th Largest In Colorado History

Other areas include: Highway 14 from Stove Prairie to Gateway Park, County Road 52E (Rist Canyon Road) to include Davis Ranch Road and Whale Rock Road east to County Road 27E, and County Road 27 south from County Road 44H down to Masonville and east to include Buckskin Heights.

Residents in these previously evacuated areas may return home. Voluntary evacuations will remain in place for those areas until further notice.

The Cameron Peak Fire near Stove Prairie on Monday. (credit: Larimer County)

Poudre Valley REA de-energized all power out of the Rustic substation due to the fire. It is unclear when power will be restored.

LINK: NoCo Alerts

Cache La Poudre Middle School on County Road 54G in Laporte was serving as a shelter. Small animals can be taken to the Larimer County Humane Society. Those with large animals are asked to contact Troy Badberg at 970-443-3231.

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