Since June 9, firefighters have logged 250,000 hours battling the High Park Fire, with only one reported injury, fire command reported Thursday. Crews have been working in shifts 24 hours a day for nearly two weeks, and some will be rotated out and replaced by new crews beginning Sunday.
The relatively mild weather on Wednesday and Thursday have allowed firefighters to make progress on the southeast flank of the fire near Redstone Canyon, which now covers 68,200 acres — 106.7 square miles, slightly larger than Orlando, Fla. — with 55 percent containment. Engines concentrated on mopping up and protecting structures in unburned areas in the interior of the fire Thursday. The red flag warning for Friday and Saturday may hinder that effort, however, as higher temperatures, lower humidity and stronger winds are predicted.
Two more homes have been confirmed lost, one in Whale Rock and one in Stove Prairie that were not identified in the initial assessments, according to the Larimer County Sheriff’s Department. That brings the total to 191. While residents of Poudre Park were allowed to return home this afternoon, sheriff’s spokesman John Schulz said the department does not expect to lift any more evacuation orders until Monday.
A complete listing of evacuations and road closures can be found at www.larimer.org/emergency.
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The regular 3 p.m. citizens’ briefing will take place at the evacuation center at The Ranch, the Larimer County fairgrounds complex at I-25 and Crossroads Boulevard in Loveland, on Friday.
Another meeting for owners of livestock evacuated to The Ranch is scheduled for Friday at 5:15 p.m. in the Ranch-Way Feeds Arena at The Ranch. This is a followup to Wednesday’s meeting, and staff and veterinarians will have answers to questions about logistics and operations.
Refrigerators and freezers coming to the landfill need to be emptied of their contents (safety for the technician pumping out the Freon). Freon containing appliances are stored until we get enough to call the technician to pump the Freon (usually once a month). Customers needing to dispose of this material can do this at the landfill, but they need to do this process in a different area (animal burial area) and then take the empty appliance to the appliance area.
The High Park Fire Disaster Recovery Center at Johnson Hall on the Colorado State University Campus will be open Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Please note that the hours of operation for the Disaster Recovery Center will change on June 25 to Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Saturday and Sunday hours will remain the same.
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 at www.larimer.org or on Twitter @larimersheriff or Inciweb at www.inciweb.org/incident/2904/.