The 14,000-acre High Park Fire has crossed over Colorado Highway 14 and is moving north, according to an afternoon update by the Larimer County Sheriff’s Department. It continues to grow and remains uncontained as of 4 p.m. Sunday.
Evacuations have been ordered for the Bonner Peaks subdivision, the same area briefly evacuated during the Hewlett Gulch Fire last month. Evacuations have also been ordered for residents along Larimer County Road 44H (Buckhorn Road) from County Road 27 to Pennock Pass and to the south approximately a mile. Evacuees will need to exit the area to the east on County Road 44H.
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These evacuations are in addition to those in Poudre Canyon, Stove Prairie Road, Rist Canyon and other areas ordered earlier. More than 1,900 evacuation notices have been sent as as result of the High Park Fire, according to the Sheriff’s Department. The human evacuation center at The Ranch has been closed, leaving the one Red Cross shelter at Cache La Poudre Middle School at 3515 W. County Road 54G in LaPorte. A fire base camp has been established nearby.
U.S. Highway 287 has been closed from the Bypass at County Road 54G up to Owl Canyon Road due to visibility issues from smoke, and many Forest Service recreation areas in the Poudre Canyon are also closed.
The hiker/campers previously thought to be missing have been reported outside of the fire area, but one person has been confirmed missing from a home on Old Flowers Road that was destroyed.
Larimer Humane Society is currently housing more than 110 animals displaced by the High Park fire. Dogs, cats, small mammals and small farm animals (the size of a goat or smaller) can still be brought to the shelter at 6317 Kyle Ave. in Fort Collins. Horses and cattle can be taken to the Ranch-Way Feed Building at The Ranch at I-25 and Crossroads Boulevard in Loveland. Evacuees requiring assistance for their pets are encouraged to contact 970-226-3647 ext. 7 to speak with an Animal Protection and Control dispatcher.
According to spokeswoman Stephanie Ashley, the Humane Society is in need of monetary donations, dry dog and cat food, and soft and hard dog treats to help take care of the displaced animals. The Ranch is also in need of 25 bales of grass hay for the livestock. Go to www.larimerhumane.org/donate for more information.
The County Health Department has issued a Wildfire Health Advisory due to continuing wind and weather around the fire. The air quality in Larimer County could cause breathing difficulties, especially for people susceptible to respiratory conditions. In general, if you can see or smell smoke, it is recommended that you avoid outdoor physical activities. If visibility is decreased in your neighborhood to less than five miles, smoke has reached levels that are unhealthy.
The Sheriff’s Department reports that more resources have been ordered to help the 250 personnel on scene fight the High Park Fire, including more hand crews, more engines, and more aircraft; military aircraft have also been requested. With nearly two dozen fires raging across the West, there is competition for the limited resources. Gov. John Hickenlooper said earlier today that one-third of the nation’s firefighting resources are already dedicated to the High Park Fire.
For complete information on this emergency, see larimer.org/emergency/emergency_detail.cfm?nam_id=85 or www.inciweb.org/incident/2904/