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Kruger Rock Fire updates for Nov. 17

The Kruger Rock fire burning Southeast of Estes Park Colorado Nov. 16. At the time of the photo the fire was approimatley 15% contained spreading across approximatley 115 acres. (Garrett Mogel | The Collegian)
The Kruger Rock fire burning Southeast of Estes Park Colorado Nov. 16. At the time of the photo the fire was approximately 15% contained spreading across approximately 115 acres. (Garrett Mogel | The Collegian)

Editor’s Note: The Collegian will continue to update this story as firefighting efforts progress.

Update Nov. 17 at 12:27 p.m.

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The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office downgraded evacuations in some areas along the west side of Highway 36 from mandatory to voluntary, according to an alert from 12:24 p.m. This is for residents and businesses south of Meadowdale Lane to the Boulder County line along the west side of the highway. 

LCSO also announced US 36 is now open between Lyons, Colorado, and Estes Park.

Original story

As of Wednesday morning, the Kruger Rock Fire that broke out in Estes Park, Colorado, on the morning of Nov. 16 is burning at approximately 140 acres and is at 15% containment.

The United States Forest Service Canyon Lakes Ranger District said in a tweet Nov. 17 that the fire did not grow very much overnight and firefighters will take advantage of lower temperatures and less wind forecasted for Wednesday to continue to fight the fire.

“Fire resources continue to arrive from throughout the county, state and region,” the tweet said.

The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office lifted some evacuation orders just after noon on Wednesday for residents and businesses on the east side of United States Highway 36. “This includes the Pole Hill Road and Panorama Peak area and everything south to the Boulder County line,” the update said.

The fire was first reported just before 7 a.m. Tuesday in an area southeast of Estes Park between Little Valley Road and Fish Creek Road, according to the LCSO. The fire started after a tree fell onto a nearby powerline, “causing it to arc and start the fire,” according to LCSO. Strong winds Tuesday caused the tree to fall and allowed the fire to grow rapidly in what the LCSO said was steep terrain.

As of Tuesday night, the fire was at 15% containment and reached 133 acres. At 6:37 p.m. Tuesday, LCSO reported that a fixed-wing aircraft, on a historic flight to contribute to firefighting efforts overnight, crashed south of Estes Park. They found the crash site at 9:49 p.m. and discovered the pilot had died. More information and a full investigation into the cause of the crash is ongoing.

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Reach Serena Bettis at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @serenaroseb.

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About the Contributors
Serena Bettis
Serena Bettis, Editor in Chief
Serena Bettis is your 2022-23 editor in chief and is in her final year studying journalism and political science. In her three years at The Collegian, Bettis has also been a news reporter, copy editor, news editor and content managing editor, and she occasionally takes photos, too. When Bettis was 5, her family moved from Iowa to a tiny town northwest of Fort Collins called Livermore, Colorado, before eventually moving to Fort Collins proper. When she was 8 years old, her dad enrolled at Colorado State University as a nontraditional student veteran, where he found his life's passion in photojournalism. Although Bettis' own passion for journalism did not stem directly from her dad, his time at CSU and with The Collegian gave her the motivation to bite down on her fear of talking to strangers and find The Collegian newsroom on the second day of classes in 2019. She's never looked back since. Considering that aforementioned fear, Bettis is constantly surprised to be where she is today. However, thanks to the supportive learning environment at The Collegian and inspiring peers, Bettis has not stopped chasing her teenage dream of being a professional journalist. Between working with her section editors, coordinating news stories between Rocky Mountain Student Media departments and coaching new reporters, Bettis gets to live that dream every day. When she's not in the newsroom or almost falling asleep in class, you can find Bettis working in the Durrell Marketplace and Café or outside gazing at the beauty that is our campus (and running inside when bees are nearby). This year, Bettis' goals for The Collegian include continuing its trajectory as a unique alt-weekly newspaper, documenting the institutional memory of the paper to benefit students in years to come and fostering a sense of community and growth both inside the newsroom and through The Collegian's published work. Bettis would like to encourage anyone with story ideas, suggestions, questions, concerns or comments to reach out to her at editor@collegian.com.
Milo Gladstein
Milo Gladstein, Photo Director
Milo Gladstein is a fifth-year senior majoring in journalism and media communications. He is currently serving as one of the two photo directors for the 2o23-24 school year. Gladstein's work focuses on long-form stories diving deep into what it means to be human and sharing people's passion and story with the community. He did not begin as a journalism major and has worn many hats while at CSU. He began as a conservation biology major, moving to undeclared and then horticulture therapy before finally landing in the journalism department. He seeks stories about community members who are impacting the world around them in positive ways and shares those stories. Working at The Collegian has taught Gladstein about working on a team, how to develop a story and the best ways to present said stories. Most importantly, he has grown from a photographer into a photojournalist. As co-photo director, he hopes to pass that knowledge on to the next group of journalists rising through The Collegian. When not working at The Collegian or in class, Gladstein can be found reading a book or in the outdoors climbing, camping, exploring and getting lost in the mountains.

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