First, the good news. The High Park fire stayed at 87,284 acres, which means the fire stayed relatively tame today. Containment is estimated at 75 percent and the estimated containment date has been moved up from July 30 to July 15.
Elsewhere in Colorado, the Colorado Springs Gazette is now estimating that up to 300 homes may have been lost in the Waldo Canyon Fire. That would eclipse the 257 homes lost so far in the High Park Fire.
And word is that President Obama will visit Colorado Springs on Friday. No word whether he’ll make it up this way, but we’ll be okay regardless.
As crews gain containment on the High Park fire, fire managers plan to share resources with other fires along the Front Range.
“We are going to help those folks out,” said Incident Commander Beth Lund, coordinating the most effective use of resources.
The High Park fire will retain more than enough resources to meet challenges our fire may offer.
Air Operations Director Hugh Carson said, “We will have the necessary retardant capability and aircraft to manage flare-ups. We will continue to have dawn-to-dusk aircraft coverage over the incident.”
Groups of trees are still torching in the fire’s interior, where several acres burned, but the perimeter of the fire did not grow Tuesday. Some little pockets between houses still show smoke. Engines patrolled structure areas all night. Crews are felling hundreds of hazard snags along public access roads, and assisting agencies that are repairing power and utility lines, in an effort to speed return of evacuees to their homes. Wednesday’s plan calls for continued intensive mop-up of remaining smokes and heat. Firefighters will focus on smoke or flame near the line, with ground forces assisted by aerial water drops. Most heat is in the western side of the fire. Structure protection groups of engines remain at Glacier View, Poudre Park, Rist, and Rustic.
Fire officials opened Hwy 14 for residents only from Missile Silo Road to Mishiwaka at noon today. No special passes are required, but residents should be ready to show identification containing their address at checkpoints and roadblocks.
Fire officials opened Stove Prairie Road (CR 27) for residents only from Stringtown Gulch Road to Buckhorn Road (CR 44H) at noon on June 27. No special passes are required, but residents should be ready to show identification at checkpoints and roadblocks. This includes the following streets:
– Redtail Ridge
– Moondance Way
– Vortex Drive
– Hawk Valley Drive
– Patience Way
– Ohana Way
– Lightning Ridge
Residents will not be able to access properties from Buckhorn Road (CR 44H) or from Stove Prairie Road (CR 27) north of Buckhorn Road at this time.
Fire officials opened another section of Redstone Canyon Road at noon today. Redstone Canyon Road is now open to residents only from Christ Mountain Road to the Laurence Creek entrance gate. No special passes are required, but residents should be ready to show identification at checkpoints and roadblocks. The Laurence Creek area has not reopened.
Larimer County’s High Park Fire Disaster Recovery Center on the Colorado State University Campus at Johnson Hall is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
More information is available at the Larimer County Emergency Information line at 970-498-5500 where information officers are answering the phone during the day and evening, and messages can be left after hours; at www.larimer.org; on Twitter @ larimersheriff; or Inciweb at www.inciweb.org/incident/2904/.
For complete information on this emergency, see www.larimer.org/emergency/emergency_detail.cfm?nam_id=85.