Residents were evacuated from the entire Lower Poudre Canyon, from mile marker 111 to 118 on Colorado Highway 14, last night and the highway closed from US Highway 287 to Stove Prairie Road as the High Park Fire has engulfed more than 8,000 acres.
More evacuation notices were sent this morning to residents south and west of Bellvue, including the Lory State Park area, the Redstone Canyon area and Buckhorn Road up to the Stove Prairie School, as well as to residents int he area from Larimer County Road 27E to Bellvue. These 650 notices bring the total number to more than 1,200 as a result of the fire, which began Saturday morning about 6 a.m. and blew up rapidly. Eighteen structures have been damaged or lost, according to the Larimer County Sheriff’s Department.
A Red Cross center for residents in the latest evacuation area has been set up at the McKee Building on The Ranch, the Laimer County Fairgrounds complex, at I-25 and Crossroads Boulevard. Use the south entrance and park in the first gravel lot. An evacuation center for residents of the Canyon has been set up at Cache La Poudre Middle School in LaPorte, the same location where the Hewlett Gulch Fire evacuees could find Red Cross services less than three weeks ago.
Large animals and livestock can be taken to The Ranch, and smaller animals and pets may be taken to Larimer Humane Society in Fort Collins.
Heavy smoke covers LaPorte this morning, and last night the red glow from the flames was visible from as far away as U.S. Highway 85 north of Greeley.
For more information, the public can call the Larimer County Emergency Information line at 970-498-5500, where information officers are answering the phone, or go to www.inciweb.org/incident/2904/. An official update is expected at 9 a.m. A citizens’ briefing is set for 9:45 a.m. at Cache La Poudre Middle School.