Cameron Peak wildfire spreads across Northern Colorado

Harley DeGan

Updated 9/8

As outlined by the 72-hour plan from Incident Information System, the cold front has assisted those working on dissipating the wildfires and the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office has lifted the mandatory evacuations from Highway 14 from Stove Prairie to Gateway Park, County Road 52E east to County Road 27E and County Road 27 south from County Road 44H and east to include Buckskin Heigh, as well as downgrading some evacuations from mandatory to voluntary in a number of communities.

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Despite some people’s ability to return to their homes, as of 11:51 a.m., the full reach of these fires is now sitting at 160 square miles. The current containment rests at 4% with the projected containment date estimated at Oct. 31. 

Fires ignited due to an unknown cause 15 miles southwest of Red Feather Lakes, Colorado, at approximately 1:48 p.m. Aug. 13. The wildfires — now known as the Cameron Peak wildfire — have grown due to Colorado’s hot, dry weather spells and windy conditions.

The wildfire is the 5th largest in Colorado’s state history, according to the The Gazette.

As of 9:40 p.m. Sept. 7, the fire was reported to cover 150.72 square miles with a containment of 4%, growing from the 92.3 square miles it was at 8:12 a.m.

At 10:32 a.m. the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office tweeted out a voluntary evacuation notice to those residents living or running businesses off County Road 52E, Davis Ranch Road, Whale Rock Road and west to County Road 27E.

At 4:46 p.m. LCSO issued an emergency message ordering mandatory evacuations of Red Feather and Crystal Lakes residents and business occupants and at 5:06 p.m. issued a mandatory evacuation of the Lady Moon and Red Feather Highlands areas.

This is in addition to the mandatory evacuations put out this morning for those along Highway 14 from Kelly Flats to Stove Prairie Landing, south on County Road 27 to County Road 44H and east to Stratton Park. The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office warns that it is imperative for those under mandatory evacuation not to delay leaving in order to gather belongings or make any attempts to protect their home or business.

For updates, Larimer Emergency Telephone Authority is asking residents to text LCEVAC to 888777 and to only call 911 if they are in immediate danger.

Air quality across Northern Colorado into the Denver-Boulder area is established to be unhealthy for sensitive groups, with the concentrations of fine particulates from the fires reaching the “unhealthy for sensitive groups” category.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment advises everyone affected to reduce prolonged or heavy exertion, and to avoid it altogether for older adults, children and those with heart or lung disease through midnight Sept. 7. 

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According to the Incident Information System, fire behavior is expected to diminish Monday evening when weather conditions are projected to be cold and snowy. These conditions should wet the fires through Tuesday morning before gradually warming into sunny skies later in the week.

“For updates, Larimer Emergency Telephone Authority is asking residents to text LCEVAC to 888777 and to only call 911 if they are in immediate danger.”

Currently, their projected containment date for the Cameron Peak wildfire is Oct. 31. 

“I ask all of you to please send thoughts to the incredibly courageous, dedicated people who are working to control the fire and protect our community at tremendous risk to themselves,” said CSU President Joyce McConnell in an email to students concerning the wildfires. 

As of Monday night, the IIS website showed there to be 829 total individuals working to contain this wildfire.

Harley DeGan can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @HarleyKDeGan.