‘Mother Nature Being Difficult’ In High Park Firefight
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GALLERIES: COLORADO'S WORST WILDFIRES
FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – New evacuations were ordered overnight for homes in the path of the High Park Fire. Approximately 200 additional notifications went out late Thursday night.
The homes are all in the Glacier View area northwest of the burn area — west of Eiger Road and south of Mount Everest Drive, just south of Red Feather Lakes Road. The area also includes people at the Ben Delatour Boy Scout Camp. Earlier in the day 80 homes in the Glacier View subdivision were ordered to evacuate. Pre-evacuation orders remain in effect for the remaining homes in the neighborhood.
A spot fire pushed north by higher winds jumped the Poudre River Thursday and crossed over Highway 14 not far from the Glacier View area. That spot fire is about 100 acres in size.
Five hotshot crews — 100 highly specialized firefighters — were on the ground Friday at the site of that spot fire and an aggressive aerial attack against it was under way Friday morning.
“We’re going to fly all kinds of aircraft on this,” said incident commander Bill Hahnenberg Friday morning. “Everything we need and everything we can use from an aviation standpoint we intend to apply to this. In my mind, that’s a concept of overwhelming force.
“Mother Nature is being very difficult. She’s not going to win this thing. We’re going to keep working.”
Hahnenberg said many fire engines are in place to defend structures if the High Park Fire moves north into Glacier View.
The total acreage of the High Park Fire was at 52,068 Friday morning. It is 15 percent contained and so far has cost an estimated $7.2 million to fight. There are 1,387 personnel working on the firefight and more than 20 aircraft involved in the battle from above.
Officials said at least 48 homes have been destroyed, but they are still checking to get a total number, which is likely much higher. Officials informed residents of 17 homes Thursday afternoon that fire had destroyed their property and more residents will learn Friday afternoon about their homes. It’s expected a total number of homes lost will be made available over the weekend. All meetings with evacuated residents are taking place at the Ranch at the Larimer County Fairgrounds in Loveland.
Those who live in areas where property damage has been confirmed can call (970) 619-4086 to find out the status of their home. This phone line will be staffed from 8 a.m. from 5 p.m.
A disaster center has also opened in Fort Collins on Colorado State University’s campus for people affected by the fire. More Info
The South Bay and Inlet Bay areas of Horsetooth Reservoir have reopened for boating. Highway 14 remains closed from Ted’s Place to Walden.
Firefighting commanders said Friday that good progress has been made on the fire’s northeast corner, east flank and southeast corner. The area along Buckhorn Road and Stove Prairie Road is still a priority on the southern perimeter. Burnout operations are planned on the western flank from the north to the south.
Full containment of the fire is not expected to be completed for several weeks.
One person has died in the fire. Linda Steadman, 62, was killed in her cabin which was in an evacuation zone. Emergency crews’ efforts to reach her by phone and in person failed.
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