Update: Cameron Peak wildfire reaches 27% containment

Noah Pasley

Update: Sept. 23, 11 p.m.

As of Sept. 23 at 11 p.m. firefighters have made additional progress on the Cameron Peak fire with containment at 27%.

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According to the Incident Information System, the fire is currently encompassing 163.7 square miles with 831 total personnel. 

Update: Sept. 23, 8 a.m.

As of Sept. 23 at 8 a.m., firefighters are making progress, according to a press release

Two additional Hotshot crews have arrived on the scene working with firefighters who are using hand tools, heavy equipment and aerial resources, the release said.

“Despite multiple challenges, firefighters are making progress,” the release said. “Additional containment was added to the perimeter on the southeast corner near Buckhorn.”

The containment remains at 17%. 

Original article: 

The Cameron Peak wildfire, located southwest of Red Feather Lakes, Colorado, encompassed 163.5 square miles, according to the Incident Information System as of Tuesday night.

Firefighters are currently working day and night shifts on the fire, with the most activity occurring west of the Manhattan Road today according to an update from the IIS.

“Cooler temperatures and higher humidity are expected soon and will help mitigate the conditions.”

According to the update, large air tankers dropped retardant on the fire yesterday to slow the advancement, and dozers as well as heavy equipment continued to build a fire line along the flanks of the head near Forest Service Road 517. The IIS website showed that there are currently 839 personnel working on the fire.

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The fire’s perimeter is 17% contained, but elevated fire conditions this week persist as hot, dry temperatures return. The fire conditions are also compounded by the chance of isolated thunderstorms that may bring gusty outflow winds to the area, causing further spread across the terrain. 

“The elevated fire weather conditions this week continue to present hazardous conditions because of potential outflow winds in the afternoon,” the IIS update said. “Although some rain is predicted, the chances of the rain over the fire area remain low.”

However, cooler temperatures and higher humidity are expected soon and will help mitigate the conditions. 

Temperatures in the 50s to 60s are expected to come this week, as well as minimum humidity of 20-25%. Warmer temperatures and increased winds Thursday and Friday will bring potential for high instability with the fire. According to the IIS’s 72 hour weather report, increased winds are expected to be sustained into the weekend, but cooler temperatures and high humidity will come Saturday due to a Pacific cold front.

Red Feather Lakes and Crystal Lakes are still under mandatory evacuation orders, and voluntary evacuation orders have expanded to include Glacier View filings, the Lady Moon area and the Magic Sky Ranch area, according to an update from the IIS.

Old Fall River Road is still closed and Rocky Mountain National Park is experiencing closures in the northern part of the park, but Trail Ridge Road has now reopened, according to the IIS. Shambhala Mountain Center, a Buddhist spiritual center in Red Feather Lakes, entered mandatory evacuation on Sunday due to the increase in winds, according to an update on their website. 

Noah Pasley can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @PasleyNoah.