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The Rocky Mountain Collegian

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The Rocky Mountain Collegian

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East Troublesome fire reaches Rocky Mountain National Park

The East Troublesome fire has grown significantly in size since its origin on Oct. 14.

“Obviously yesterday was a significant fire day,” Noel Livingston, incident commander for Pacific Northwest Incident Management Team 3, said in a video update. “We saw about 20 miles of fire growth over the course of the afternoon and throughout the night.”

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The fire is about 196 square miles, according to the Incident Information System, at a containment of 5%. 

According to Livingston, the beetle-killed trees and other material combined with the dry conditions, low relative humidities and wind have “pushed that fire through those available fuels.”

“It was primarily in those timbered aspects in the difficult terrain, north of Granby and north of Grand Lake, as it spread …  into Rocky Mountain (National) Park,” Livingston said. “An amazing, really, amount of fire spread yesterday.”

The primary goal of today is to protect communities and structures that are at risk, according to the video update. They want to ensure that residents are out of the way from future fire growth, Livingston said.

Livingston said he is anticipating another day of large fire growth today due to forecasted high winds and the dry conditions. 

“We obviously still have a lot of available fuel (for) the spark to continue to spread in,” Livingston said.

The Cameron Peak fire is located north of the East Troublesome fire. The closest points of the fire are approximately 8 miles apart in the mountain areas between Tombstone Ridge and Fall Mountain.

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The cause of the fire is still under investigation, according to InciWeb. 

Mandatory evacuations have been ordered on the western part of Rocky Mountain National Park and the west side of the Estes Park area, according to NoCo Alert. 

Laura Studley can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @laurastudley_

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