UPDATE: High Park Fire 100 percent contained

Erikson Air Crane heavy tanker
An Erikson Air Crane heavy tanker drops 2600 gallons of water from Horsetooth Reservoir onto smoldering brush as part of the effort to contain the High Park fire. Photo: John Sheesley for the Rocky Mountain Collegian

Update: July 1, 12:04 p.m.

The High Park Fire is now at 100 percent containment after burning 87,284 acres during the last three weeks.

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All evacuation orders for the High Park Fire have been lifted and all county roads, including Highway 14 in the Poudre Canyon, have been reopened, according to a press release from the Larimer County Sheriff’s Department.

According to the press release, the total number of homes destroyed to date remains at 259.

This update was written by producer Nic Turiciano. Nic can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com

Update: June 28, 7:55 p.m.

The High Park Fire did not grow for the second consecutive day on Thursday, and containment is now at 85 percent, according to a press release from the Larimer County Sheriff’s Department.

According to the press release, the estimated containment date has been moved up from July 15 to July 1. The release advises, however, that the term “containment” describes only a secure fire line and that the fire may smolder within the fire line for days, weeks or possibly months.

Several areas were reopened to residents today. These areas include:

  • Rist Canyon Road
  • Laurence Creek
  • Paradise Park
  • Stove Prairie Road from Buckhorn Road to Bent Timber Lane
  • Old Flowers Road from Stove Prairie Road to the 8000 block
This update was written by producer Nic Turiciano. Nic can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com

Update: June 27, 2:25 p.m.

The perimeter of the High Park Fire did not grow Wednesday, and continues to be at 65 percent containment according to a press release from the Larimer County Sheriff’s Department.

“Groups of trees are still torching in the fire’s interior, where several acres burned… Some little pockets between houses still show smoke,” the press release said.

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The dry and hot weather continues to hinder operations.

“A Red Flag warning has been issued until 8 p.m. tonight.  This marks the 8th consecutive day of Red Flag warnings,” the press release said. “Dry, frequent lightning and gusty winds are expected.  Wind gusts up to 50 mph are considered likely.  These conditions may contribute to intense fire activity.

This update was written by editor in chief Michael Elizabeth Sakas. Michael can be contacted at news@collegian.com.

Update: June 26, 8:44 p.m.

The High Park Fire has now reached 87,284 acres and is currently 65 percent contained. It has damaged 257 structures to date and costs $33.1 million.

Several areas were reopened for residents to return today and it was announced that Rist Canyon Road will reopen on Thursday June 28.

There are currently 1,805 personal assigned to the firefighting effort as well as 156 engines, 17 helicopter resources, 11 dozers, and 11 water tenders.

For coverage of the Flagstaff Fire in Boulder see the Daily Camera

For coverage of the Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado Springs see the Gazette

This update was written by Contributor Kristin Hall. Kristin can be contacted at news@collegian.com

Update: June 26, 6:08 p.m.

As fires worsen along the southern Front Range, a little rain and some good news came down this evening near Fort Collins. The Poudre Park neighborhood has been reopened and residents are allowed to return with their credentials, though they are advised to keep in  mind that the area is still in pre-evacuation status.

Hwy 14 is still restricted from Missile Silo Road to Hewlett Gulch Road.

Update written by Contributor Kristin Hall. Kristin can be reached at news@collegian.com

Update: June 26, 5:25 p.m.

A section of Redston Canyon Road  (CR25E) has been opened up to, and including Christ Mountain Road, Clear Ridge Road, Roan Mountain Road, and Red Canyon Ranch Road. No special passes will be needed for residence to return to this area.

The area will stay in Pre-evacuation status in case the state of the fire worsens.

Update written by Contributor Kristin Hall. Kristin can be reached at news@collegian.com

Update: June 26, 1:58 p.m.

A section of Red Feather Lakes is reopened according to the latest report from the Larimer County Sheriff’s office. Red Feather Lake Road from CR37 west to Maxwell Ranch Road is now open. Residents are allowed to return without credentials. Five reverse notifications have been sent out by the Larimer County Sheriff’s office.

The Collegian will continue to follow this story as it develops.

Update written by Contributor Kristin Hall. Kristin can be reached at news@collegian.com.

Update: June 26, 12:59 p.m.

The High Park Fire has currently burned 87,250 acres and is 55 percent contained according to the latest information from the Larimer County Sheriff’s office.

The fire has caused an estimated 31.5 million dollars to date. There are currently 1941 personel working on the fire today. There are 164 engines working on the fire and 20 helicopter resources.

Currently 257 structures have been damaged by the fire.

The Collegian will continue to follow this story as it develops.

Update written by Contributor Kristin Hall. Kristin can be reached at news@collegian.com

Update: June 25, 12:33 p.m. 

The High Park Fire is currently estimated at 83,205 acres and still growing. According to the latest information from the Larimer County Sheriff’s office the fire is now 45 percent contained due to dry, hot days an high winds.

There are currently 2,037 fire personell working in shifts to contain the fire and that number is expected to increase ads additional resources arrive. More than 170 fire engines are on scene along with 25 aircraft.

The current damage estimates are $ 29.6 million and 248 homes after 57 additional homes were  lost in the Glacier View and Hewlett Gulch areas. Officials will focus on getting information to residents affected as it becomes available.

A citizen briefing will be held at the Cache La Poudre Middle School in Laporte at 5 p.m.

The Collegian will continue to follow this story as it develops.

Update written by Visual Managing Editor John Sheesley. John can be reached at news@collegian.com

Update: June 22, 9:10 a.m.

The High Park fire has burned 68,200 acres to date and is 55 percent contained, according to the latest information from the Larimer County Sheriff’s office.

It has destroyed 191 homes, an increase of two from previous estimates due to identifying homes in Whale Rock and Stove Prairie that were missed in an earlier assessment. The number is expected to climb once a final assessment is completed.

There will be a follow-up meeting for residents who have evacuated livestock and large animals to The Ranch Friday June 22  at 515 p.m.

So far the fire has cost $19 million to fight and there are 1,859 fire personnel, 18 helicopters and 135 engines currently in use.

Update written by producer Kyle Grabowski. Kyle can be reached at news@collegian.com.

Update: June 20, 2:45 p.m.

The latest press release from Larimer County Sheriff’s Department indicates the High Park fire is currently at 65,738 acres and 55 percent contained.

Effective at 10:00 am today, fire officials have announced an all clear for Soldier Canyon and the Mill Canyon Estates area. Residents who can present proper identification will be able to return home; however, must remained prepared to evacuate again if fire conditions worsen.

In addition, residents living South of Horsetooth are also allowed to return home.

A complete list of areas still under evacuation as well as a list of current road closures can be found at the Larimer County Emergency website.

Officials will hold a residential briefing for those living in the Glacier View tonight, June 20, at 7:00 p.m. at 1417 Green Mountain Drive, Gate 8 in Glacier View.

The Collegian will continue to follow this story as it develops.

Update written by managing editor Kaitie Huss. Kaitie can be reached at news@collegian.com

Update: June 19, 11:17 p.m.

The High Park Fire is now 59,845 acres with 50 percent containment. There are currently 1,911 personnel working on the fire with a 24-hour schedule.

A spot fire in the north west corner of the fire caused a pre-evacuation to be issued for the Rustic area.

The total cost of the fire to date is $17.2 million.

Update written by contributor Kristin Hall. Kristin can be reached at new@collegian.com.

Update: June 19, 10:43 a.m.

The High Park Fire has grown to 59,500 acres with 50 percent containment.

There is a red flag warning in effect today until 9 p.m. due to strong winds with gusts 20- 30 miles per hour.

There are eight additional homes damaged in the Buckhorn area bringing the total homes destroyed to 189.

Pre-evacuation orders have been issued for the area of Hwy 14  from Pingree Park Road west to approximately to mile marker 90, west of the glen echo resort. This includes Rustic Road.

Residents will need to go west on Hwy 14 to Walden if they are asked to evacuate.

Update written by contributor Kristin Hall. Kristin can be reached at new@collegian.com.

Update: June 18, 10:40 p.m.

The High Park fire is estimated at 58,770 acres and is 50 percent contained, according to a press release this evening. It is the third largest fire in Colorado history, and has destroyed the second most homes.

At least 189 homes have been confirmed destroyed and more have been reported as lost, including eight found tonight in the Buckhorn area. The current estimated cost of the fire is $14.7 million.

1,773 people are currently working to keep the fire contained and to suppress it more. The fire crews are working in a 24-hour work rotation to protect the homes in the burn area. There are 17 helicopters and four heavy air tankers fighting the wildfire and protecting structures along with the ground crews.

Roaming patrols and National Guard members are keeping the burned area safe and are using video surveillance to make sure the residences are not targeted by looters.

Update: June 18, 6:40 p.m.

The High Park fire is estimated at 58,770 acres and is 50 percent contained. Only 700 acres of growth were experienced today, the lowest to date.

1,748 people are currently working to keep the fire contained with a 24-hour work rotation. There are 17 helecoptors and four heavy air tankers are being used to fight the wildfire. Crews are currently focusing on structure protection throughout the blaze area.

At least 181 homes have been confirmed destroyed and more have been reported as lost. The current estimated cost of the fire is $12.6 million.

Update: June 14, 6:19 p.m.

An immediate evacuation order has been issued for the Glacier View area. This includes Many Thunders Road south to the 12th filing.

The affected areas include:

  • Meadow Mountain Drive
  • Little Bald Mountain Court
  • Grey’s Peak Court
  • Diamond Peak Court
  • Little Twins Court
  • Red Mountain Court
  • Pingree Hill Court
  • Rabbit Ears Court
  • Bullrock Court
  • Black Mountain Court
The current information, according to authorities, is that the fire has crossed the road at Steven’s Gulch. A road block has been established at Eiger and Many Thunder Mountain. As a result, the 7:30 p.m. community meeting at Glacier View Community Center has been canceled.

Update: June 13, 2:52 p.m.

High Park officials have issed a pre-evacuation order for the Glacier View area.

This includes Country Road 68C junction with Country Road 74E, east to Hewlett Gulch Road and all the roads in the area south to the north side of Hwy 14 and west to the junction of County Road 68C.

According to authorities, residents should be prepared to evacuate immediately.

Update written by contributor Kristin Hall. Kristin can be reached at new@collegian.com.

Update: June 13, 11:07 a.m.

According to authorities, the High Park Fire has grown to 46,000 acres and is more than 10% contained.

“There was good success from the hard work yesterday,” according to a press release sent to the Collegian at 10:27 a.m. this morning.

The press release indicates that the fire has been partially contained in the Highway 14 and County Road 29 C area. In addition, most of the east side of the fire has been contained, according to the release.

Those responding to the fire include 1,000 personell and 22 aircraft.

A citizen briefing is scheduled for today at 3 p.m. While authorities cannot provide a full list of damaged structures, they will begin to release preliminary information concerning damage caused by the fire.

Further examination of evacuation areas, which are the top non-fire priorites of the day, will allow officials to determine if those forced to evacute will be able to return home.

The Collegian will continue to follow this story as it develops.

Update written by managing editor Kaitie Huss. Kaitie can be reached at news@collegian.com.

Update: June 12, 9:47 p.m.

The High Park Fire has grown to 43,372 acres with 10 percent containment. the fire has cost $3million dollars to date.

The structure protection group successfully saved several homes.

A line was secured on the northeast side of the fire. There are 634 personal working on the fire with more expected tomorrow. Thirty-seven engines were assigned to the fire today with 100 expected tomorrow.

Resident who have refused to evacuate from Poudre Canyon are impeding fire operations. All residents are encouraged to evacuate.

Update: June 12, 1:02 p.m.

An evacuation has been ordered for the entire Pingree Park area, including Hourglass and Comanche Reservoirs. East on Buckhorn Road has been closed to Pennock Pass. The evacuation also includes north east to the intersection of Stove Prarie Road and Highway 14 and west to the intersection of Highway 14 and Pingree Park Road.

Evacuated citizens may go to the McKee Building at The Ranch at I-25 and Crossroad Boulevard.

Evacuation orders have been lifted for the area south of County Road 38E from Gindler Ranch Road to Milner Ranch Road.

Update written by reporter Kristin Hall. Kristin can be reached at kahall@rams.colostate.edu

Update: June 12, 11:04 a.m.

The High Park fire has now reached 43,433 acres with five percent containment.

Pre-evacuation alerts were issued to 89 residents in the area south of County Road 74E, south and east of McNay Hill. These are alerts are giving notice to residents, but are not calling for evacuation at this time.

There will be 500 firefighters working on the fire today, as well as 26 engines which have been assigned to the High Park Fire. One-hundred engines are expected by tomorrow.

Containment lines were completed on the east flank of the fire yesterday . This line will be monitored and reinforced today. Crews will be working on building lines on the west and south sides today.

There are temporary closures at Horsetooth Reservoir,Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, and Eagle’s Nest Open Space, which have been extended through Thursday, June 14, 2012.

Though current evacuations are being evaluated, no one is allowed back in at this time.

Update written by reporter Kristin Hall. Kristin can be reached at kahall@rams.colostate.edu.

Update: June 11,9:45 p.m.

The High Park fire is now over 41,140 with zero percent containment. A type one incident team assumed control of the fire this morning with Bill Hahnenberg as the incident commander.

Lightning has been confirmed as the official cause of the fire.

The 400 ground crews fighting the fire today made good progress and defended many structures from the blaze. Between 100-200 more firefighters will join in efforts to contain the High Park wildfire tomorrow.

Many structures in the Rist Canyon, Old Flowers, Paradise Park, Stove Prairie, Stratton Park, Poudre Park, Soldier Canyon and Mill Canyon areas have been damaged by the fire, but number and type is unknown at this time.

One death has been confirmed. The remains of Linda Steadman, 62, were found today in the ashes of a destroyed residence located on Old Flowers Road in Bellvue, Colorado. The following statement was issued by the Steadman family:

“Linda Steadman, mother, grandmother, sister and wife perished in the cabin she loved. As you can imagine, this is a difficult time for the Steadman family, and they ask that they are allowed time to grieve privately. The entire Steadman Family would like to commend all the firefighters and emergency personnel dedicated to saving lives and property.”

Update: June 11, 4:10 p.m.

The High Park Fire remains at 36,930 acres with zero percent containment and a high growth potential. Approximately 2600 evacuation notifications have been sent. Evacuation orders for the following areas remain in effect:

-South of County Road 38E from Gindler Ranch Road west to Milner Ranch Road.

-County Road 38E is now closed from Masonville to Harmony Road at the junction of Taft Hill Road.

-Crystal Mountain area including Crystal Mountain Road and the Upper Buckhorn.

-Bonner Peak Subdivision.

-Buckhorn Road from County Road 27 to Pennock Pass and residents to the south approximately 3/4-1 mile.

-North of County Road 38E, from Horsetooth Reservoir to Redstone Canyon to Lory State Park.

-Stove Prairie Road north along County Road 27 to Highway 14, east along Highway 14 to approximately mile marker 111, southeast to Rist Canyon Fire Station 1, then back west to to include Wilderness Ridge Way, Rist Creek Road, Spring Valley Road and County Road 41 and all of the roads that run off of it. All of Rist Canyon (west of 27E) and all roads off of it, including Whale Rock Road and Davis Ranch Road. South 3 additional miles on County Road 44H to just north of Stringtown Gulch Road.

An Erikson Air Crane heavy tanker fills up with 2600 gallons of water from Horsetooth Reservoir. Photo: John Sheesley for the Rocky Mountain Collegian
An Erikson Air Crane heavy tanker fills up with 2600 gallons of water from Horsetooth Reservoir. Photo: John Sheesley for the Rocky Mountain Collegian

-Poudre Park (along Highway 14) area from mile marker 111 to mile marker 118.

-Highway 14 from Ted’s Place to Stove Prairie is closed, as well as Stove Prairie Road and Rist Canyon Road.

-All residents from County Road 27E to Bellvue and for the area south and west of Bellvue, including Lory State Park and Red Stone Canyon, and Buckhorn Road from Masonville up to Stove Prairie School.

-County Road 29C and McMurry Ranch Road.

The evacuation center is located at the McKee Building at The Ranch at I-25 and Crossroads Boulevard. Large animals and livestock are being accepted at The Ranch, while small animals can be taken to the Larimer Humane Society. Larimer Humane Society has secured other locations for animals should the shelter reach capacity. Evacuees should call 970-226-3647 ext. 7 to determine the best place to take their animals.

The Larimer Humane Society is currently experiencing a lack of storage to keep food and other donated items. Members of the community interested in providing support are encouraged to make a monetary donation.   Donations can be made online by visiting www.larimerhumane.org.  This allows for items to be purchased as needed and as space allows.

The local Red Cross office is coordinating all volunteer efforts. Please visit www.helpcoloradonow.org to learn more about how you can

The High Park fire seen fromt he CSU main campus. Photo: John Sheesley for the Rocky Mountain Collegian
The High Park fire seen fromt he CSU main campus. Photo: John Sheesley for the Rocky Mountain Collegian

help.

The City of Fort Collins has issued closures and cancellations due to the High Park Fire and related air quality issues. Recreation programs are being moved indoors wherever possible, and all outdoor programs at the senior center have been cancelled. All educational programs in natural areas have been cancelled for the entire week, and Bobcat Ridge, Gateway, and Reservoir Ridge Natural Areas are closed. This evening’s Bike Advisory Committee meeting has been cancelled as well, so that attendees may avoid riding through the smoke.

No calls for evacuations or pre-evacuations have been placed within the city of Fort Collins or its immediate outskirts.  According to a Larimer County Sheriff’s Office press release “residents would be notified as soon as possible if fire conditions warranted [an evacuation].”

The High Park fire is now visible from the CSU main campus, causing widespread concern. The fire is still located miles from the main campus, south campus, and foothills campus, and not directly threatening any of them. However, smoke in the area is impacting air quality, and the Larimer County Health Department recommends that outdoor physical activities be avoided anytime smoke can be seen or smelled.

No university activities on the main campus have been cancelled, and all classes and activities are continuing as scheduled. Classes scheduled at Pingree Park have been temporarily moved to the main campus.

High Park fire area at 5 p.m. on June 11

Students who have been directly impacted by the fire are encouraged to call 970-491-1350. This resource can help if you have been evacuated from your home or directly impacted in some other way.

CSU is being considered as a possible evacuation center due to the large amount of resources on campus. Some dorms may be used to house evacuees and firefighters in the coming days. The Colorado State University students scheduled to start classes today at Pingree Park have been instructed not to attend and are having classes at the main campus instead. Pingree Park is safe from the fire at this time, as is Estes Park.

“The fire is a long way from Estes Park,” said Reagan Cloudman, spokesperson for Roosevelt and Arapahoe National Forests. Estes Park is about 43 miles southwest of Fort Collins, and the prevailing winds are to the north.

“Our hearts and wishes go out to all those effected by the fire,” said Peggy Campbell, President and CEO of Visit Estes Park. “We’re praying for the safety of all who are risking the lives to protect the land.”

Senator Mark Udall has been working at a federal to ensure resources to contain fires such as the High Park fire.

“I am thankful Congress passed this bill to allow the U.S. Forest Service to get more air tankers, which are sorely needed as devastating fires break out across our state and the country.  I urge the President to sign this into law without delay…I will be keeping a close watch to make sure [the High Park] fire continues to get the resources that it needs.  The fire is currently zero percent contained, which is a reflection of the extreme weather and dry ground conditions and not a lack of firefighting effort or resources,” Udall said in a press release this afternoon.

Update: June 11, 12:18 p.m.

The High Park fire is now visible from the CSU main campus, causing widespread concern. The fire is still located miles from the main campus, south campus, and foothills campus, and not directly threatening any of them. However, smoke in the area is impacting air quality, and the Larimer County Health Department recommends that outdoor physical activities be avoided anytime smoke can be seen or smelled.

No university activities on the main campus have been cancelled, and all classes and activities are continuing as scheduled. Classes scheduled at Pingree Park have been temporarily moved to the main campus.

Students who have been directly impacted by the fire are encouraged to call 970-491-1350. This resource can help if you have been evacuated from your home or directly impacted in some other way.

The local Red Cross office is coordinating all volunteer efforts. Please visit www.helpcoloradonow.org to learn more about how you can help.

Update: June 11, 10:42 a.m.

The High Park Fire has grown overnight to 36,930 acres, according to authorities. It remains 0% contained.

Nicolas Christensen, executive officer of the Larimer County Sheriff’s office, explains the fire as aggressive and driven by both wind and fuel including brush, timber, and dry grasses. The flames are moving at about 20-40 feet per minute.

“That’s fast and a pretty concerning condition,” said Christensen.

According to authorities, the fire’s flames have peaked at 300 feet in some areas.

400 firefighters are currently on scene. The Colorado National Guard has sent one of the two expected Black Hawk aircraft.

Officials have confirmed damage to homes and other structures in the following areas:

  • Risk Canyon
  • Stove Prairie
  • Old Flower road area
  • Paradise Park
  • Poudre Canyon
  • Poudre Park area

Authorities want to reinforce that not all structures in the listed areas have been affected by the flames. There is no confirmed number of lost homes, according to Christensen.

“We express sympathy to anyone who’s lost their home,” said Patricia Billinger of the American Red Cross.

The number of evacuations have not changed since last night and remains at 2,600, according to authorities.

“Number of refusals and that is a factor in this fire,” Christensen said this morning. “We do document those, move on, and continue to evacuate other personal [and] other citizens in the area.”

The evacuation center is still located at the Ranch off of I-25 in Loveland. So far no evacuation orders have been issued to Fort Collins.   Students enrolled in courses at Pingree Park have been directed to report to Edwards Hall and continue their coursework on the main campus as directed by their instructor.

Billinger recommends that anyone not yet affected by the fire prepare themselves in the case of evacuation.

“Think of your pets. Get your kids and your supplies together now,” said Billinger. “Please don’t let that deter you from evacuation, there are places for them and there are places for you to go.”

The firefighter removed from the scene on Saturday was treated for dehydration and heat exhaustion and has since been released.

The Collegian will continue to update this story as it develops.

Update written by managing editor Kaitie Huss. Kaitie can be reached at news@collegian.com

Update: June 10, 10:43 p.m.

The evacuation center for the High Park Fire has moved from Cache La Poudre Middle School due to high levels of smoke in Laporte. The new evacuation site is the Ranch at I-25 and Crossroads boulevard.

The fire has spanned to 20,000 acres and is still 0% contained. The 15-25 mph winds today only exasperated the flames and existed as a major factor in the fire’s spread, according to authorities.

Currently, 2,600 emergency notifications have been issued.

A Type one management team began on scene this evening, according to authorities. While 15 engines and 250 crews are fighting the fire, authorities are competing with other fires for resources.

Help is expected tomorrow from the Colorado National Guard which will be sending two Blackhawk helicopters.

Authorities confirm damage to 18 buildings including residential homes and outbuildings. This number is expected to increase as survey crews complete their report.

One firefighter was taken from the area and treated for heat exhaustion yesterday, according to authorities. This incident was non-emergent. No other injuries have been reported.

Authorities still expect the flames resulted from a lightning strike although this theory is continuing to be investigated.

Current Evacuations

  • South of CR38E to Gindler Ranch Road West to Milner Ranch Road
  • North of County Road 38E, from Horsetooth Reservoir to Redstone Canyon to Lory State Park
  • Bonner Peaks subdivision
  • County Road 44H (Buckhorn Road) from County Road 27 to Pennock Pass and residents to the South. Exit East on County Road 44H/Buckhorn Road.
  • CR27E to Bellvue
  • Areas South and West of Bellvue including Lory State Park, Redstone Canyon and Buckhorn Road up to the Stove Prairie School
  • Poudre Canyon from MM111 to MM118 on Highway 14.  Mandatory evacuations are mendetory for Poudre Canyon from Stove Prairie to MM118.
  • Area between CR27E and Stove Prairie Road and South through Rist Canyon, including Davis Ranch Road, Whale Rock Road,
  • South on CR44H, three miles to just North of Stringtown Gulch Road.
  •  Paradise Park Road, Moose Horn Lane, Magic Lane and Spencer Mountain Road.
  • Old Flowers Road from Stove Prairie Road to the 8000 block of Old Flowers Road.
  • Stove Prairie Road North along County Road 27 to Highway 14
  • East along Highway 14 to approximately mile marker 111
  • Southeast to Rist Canyon Fire Station 1
  • Wilderness Ridge Way, Rist Creek Road
  • Spring Valley Road and County Road 41
Road Closures
Highway 287 from the Bypass at CR54G to Owl Canyon Road
Highway 14 from Ted’s Place to Stove Prairie Road
Highway 14 east of CR69
CR23 & Lodge Pole/Lory State Park
CR25E & CR54E
CR27 (Stove Prairie Road) South from Highway 14
CR27 (Stove Prairie Road) one mile South of CR44H (Buckhorn Road)
CR27 & CR38E

CR27 North of CR44H
CR38E and CR25E
CR44H (Buckhorn Road) West of CR27
CR52E (Rist Canyon Road) West of CR27E
CR52E (Rist Canyon Road) CR25E Bellvue
CR69 & Highway 14

The Collegian will continue to follow this story as it develops.

Update written by Managing Editor Kaitie Huss. Kaitie is can be reached at news@collegian.com

Update: June 10, 6:58 p.m.

Authorities have  issued the following new evacuation orders:

  • North of County Road 38E, from Horsetooth Reservoir to Redstone Canyon to Lory State park
  •  The Crystal Mountain area including Crystal Mountain Road and the Upper Buckhorn
Authorities advise residents of these areas to evacuate as soon as possible while exit routes are still accessible. Those evacuating can seek shelter at Cache La Poudre Middle School.

Update: June 10, 4:20 p.m. 

The High Park fire is still burning at 14,000 acres and remains zero percent contained. According to authorities, the fire has moved North across Highway 14 .

Although no official evacuation notification update is available, Sheriff Justin Smith expects the number of notifications to have reached 2,000.

Evacuations notifications were sent to the Bonner Peaks subdivision as well as County Road 44H (Buckhorn Road) from County Road 27 to Pennock Pass. According to authorities, some residents have resisted evacuation.

Authorities have no reason to believe the fire was started by man and instead expect it began due to lightning or other natural causes. The origin of the fire is approximated near Paradise Park.

While no deaths have been confirmed, one individual is unaccounted for, according to authorities.

Because the fire is spreading in such an eratic manner, fire authorities are focusing on structure protection instead of containment.

“We can do the best that we can,” said Smith, “but mother nature is running this fire.”

Updates: June 10, 2:02 p.m.

The High Park wildfire is now burning over 14,000 acres and is still zero percent contained. It is growing quickly, and officials will have a better estimate of the size of the wildfire tonight when they are able to measure its size from aircraft with infrared cameras.

Over 1,500 emergency notifications have been sent for evacuations, and more are expected throughout the day. Officials are investigating reports of hikers in the area and of residents that chose not to leave. No injures have been confirmed, and public safety is a priority for fire crews.

“Property can be replaced, but a loss of a life is unacceptable.” said Executive Officer Nicholas Christensen in a media briefing this morning. Officials have been going door-to-door to warn people to evacuate, as many homes in the area do not have phones.

At least 18 structures are confirmed to be damaged or destroyed by the fire at this time, but no information on the structures will be available until it is safe for firefighters to enter the area.

Larimer County Sheriff Executive Officer Nicholas Christensen. Photo: John Sheesley for the Rocky Mountain Collegian

Starting Monday the fire will be classified as a type one incident, allowing interaganecy cooperation at the federal, state, and local level.

“That will bring additional resources and money to fight the fire.” said Christensen.

Though this is not the largest wildfire Larimer County has seen, it has caused many to worry becasue of its fast spread and close proximity to residential areas.

“14,000 plus acres is a very very large wildfire.  As far as I know this is the largest number of displaced home owners we have had” said Christensen.

In a statement released earlier today, U.S. senator Mark Udall said, “My thoughts and prayers go out to the hundreds of residents whose properties have been destroyed or are endangered in the High Park Fire.  The hot, dry conditions that helped fuel this fire highlight the importance of having adequate resources to fight wildfire – from the brave firefighters and first responders on the ground to the aerial tankers providing support from above.  I will continue to monitor the fire and the efforts to contain it to offer my support at the federal level.”

Currently more than 250 ground personnel are on scene with 15 fire engines and numerous aircraft, including heavy air-tankers out of Canada. The goal is to contain the fire by keeping it to the north of Buckhorn Road, east of Pingree Park Road, south of State Highway 14,and west of Boyd Gulch and Redstone Canyon.

Residents are encouraged to call the Larimer County Emergency Information line at 970-498-5500 for public information, and can sign up for emergancy notifications at www.leta911.org or by calling 970-962-2170 if internet access is not available.

The Collegian will continue to follow this story as it develops.

Update

The High Park fire, near Fort Collins, is now burning well over 8,000 acres, with no containment. It has grown significantly over night and a new estimate of the fire’s size has not been released.

Over 1,500 emergency notifications have been sent for evacuations, and more are expected throughout the day.

The newest evacuations include all residents from County Road 27E to Bellvue and for the area south and west of Bellvue, including Lory State Park and Red Stone Canyon, as well as Buckhorn Road from Masonville up to Stove Prairie School.

The Cache la Poudre Middle School and the McKee Building at the Budweiser Event Center have been set up as evacuation centers. Citizen briefings will be held at 9:45 a.m. at the Cache la Poudre Middle School in Laporte and at 10:45 a.m. at the McKee Building.

18 structures are confirmed to be damaged or destroyed by the fire at this time, but no information on the structures will be available until it is safe for firefighters to enter the area.

Update

Smoke from the High Park fire. Photo: John Sheesley for the Rocky Mountain Collegian

The High Park fire, near Fort Collins, is now burning over 5,000 acres with zero percent containment, according to the most recent press release by the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office.

“This is the fire we always feared we’d have,” said Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith at a press conference this evening. Crews will be focused on keeping the fire from reaching the Poudre Canyon on Sunday, according to Smith.

Officials have issued over 800 emergency notifications today, and more are expected throughout the evening.

The most recent evacuation orders include  the area between Colorado Road 27E and Stove Prairie Road as well as the area south through Rist Canyon including Davis Ranch Road and Whale Rock Road.

Ten structures are now confirmed to have been damaged by the fire, and there is no update on the missing residents, but officials are attempting to locate them. More information on damaged structures will be available when it is safe for firefighters to go into the areas affected by the flames.

200 crews are fighting the fire, including 15 engines, three water tenders, and four Hotshot crews. According to the US Forest Service, “Inter-agency Hotshot Crews (IHC) are diverse teams… and have solid reputations as multi-skilled professional firefighters.” Multiple air vehicles are being used to fight the flames as well, including nine air tankers, four helicopters, an Air Attack Command plane and a Lead plane.

High Park fire smoke by John Sheesley
Smoke from the High Park fire. Photo: John Sheesley for the Rocky Mountain Collegian

Update

The High Park fire is now near 3,000 acres with zero percent containment. The fire is expected to move east of  where it is currently burning throughout the evening.

The continued spread of the fire has caused the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office to pre-evacuate the area on Buckhorn Road between mile markers 25 and 27, including Cougar Dr, Cougar Den Place, Bighorn Drive and Moose Ridge Drive.

Damage of six buildings has been confirmed near the Old Flowers Road and some residents from this area cannot be located, but no injuries have been confirmed. The area is currently unsafe but updates on structural damage will be available when firefighters are able to enter the area.

One firefighter was transported by ambulance out of the area and treated for heat exhaustion.

Residents are encouraged to call the Larimer County Emergency Information line at 970-498-5500 for public information, and can sign up for emergancy notifications at www.leta911.org.

[UPDATE]

The High Park fire has grown to between 2,000 and 3,000 acres in size. High winds and dry conditions are fueling the flames and the fires rapid spread is causing new evacuations to be ordered by the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office.

In addition to the orders to evacuate Moose Horn Lane, Magic Lane, and Spencer Mountain Road, orders have been issued to evacuate Stove Prairie Road north along County Road 27 to Highway 14, east along Highway 14 to approximately mile marker 111, southeast to Rist Canyon Fire Station 1, then back west to include Wilderness Ridge Way, Rist Creek Road, Spring Valley Road and County Road 41 and all of the roads that run off of it.

Evacuations have also been ordered for Paradise Park Road and Stove Prairie road, north to Rist Canyon Road, east to Spring Valley Road and south to include the Tip Top Road area, as well as for Old Flowers Road from Stove Prairie Road to the 8000-block of Old Flowers Road.

Those still in evacuation areas should leave immediately as this fire has a very high potential to grow overnight.

The evacuation center is still Cache La Poudre Middle School in Laporte. The Larimer County Humane Society is accepting small animals while The Ranch is accepting large animals.

Areas surrounding closed roads and evacuation areas should be avoided by the public to allow fire personnel access.

Multiple fire crews are on scene and continue to respond using land and air vehicles including nine air tankers, four helicopters, an Air Attack Command plane and a Lead plane.

[ORIGINAL POST]

A 200 acre wildfire is burning  in the Paradise Park region of Larimer County, and is growing rapidly. It began early this morning, with the original report coming in at 5:54 a.m. according to a Larimer County Sheriff’s Office press release.

Structures on Paradise Park Road, Moose Horn Lane, Magic Lane, and Spencer Mountain Road have been ordered to evacuate and are considered in danger from the fire. The current evacuation center is Cache La Poudre Middle School, located at 3515 West County Road 54G in Laporte. This has changed from the original evacuation notice which indicated Stove Prairie School.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.  Teams are working to contain the fire using both ground based vehicles and aircraft including two helicopters, a single engine air tanker and an Air Attack Command plane.