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High Park Fire: 68,200 Acres, 55 Percent Contained, $19.6M To Fight

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This image was captured on June 18 inside the lines of the High Park Fire. (credit: Colorado National Guard)

This image was captured on June 18 inside the lines of the High Park Fire. (credit: Colorado National Guard)

GALLERIES: COLORADO'S WORST WILDFIRES

LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)- More evacuees will be allowed to return home as fire crews work to get the upper hand on the High Park Fire burning west of Fort Collins.

The High Park Fire has burned 68,200 Acres, is 55 percent contained and has cost $19.6 million to fight so far. There are 1,978 fire personnel fighting the fire along with 18 helicopters and 135 engines running with a 24-hour work schedule in place.

Fire crews are hoping for additional containment as they work with the cooler and more humid conditions. The weekend is expected to be hot and dry once again so they’re hoping to make some headway and be aggressive before those difficult conditions return.

“I’m optimistic that after tonight’s operational period or tomorrow’s operational period that we’ll have a fair amount of additional containment,” said Incident Commander Bill Hahnenberg. “We are making progress. Yesterday was much better. We did have a good opportunity with weather yesterday and today is pretty good as well.”

RELATED VIDEO: High Park Fire Thursday Afternoon Update

Residents of Poudre Park will be allowed to return home at noon on Thursday. Credentials will be required and must be obtained at the checkpoint at Highway 14 and County Road 29C.

A mandatory meeting for all Poudre Park residents will be held at the fire station or community center, depending on the number of attendees, at 7 p.m. Thursday. The reintegration process will be discussed at that time.

The evacuation lift does not include Unger Mountain Road, Falls Gulch Road or King’s Canyon Road.

All residents are asked to remain on alert. If fire conditions worsen, this area may be required to evacuate again. Power has been restored to this area.

The High Park Fire was caused by lightning. Fire crews have been battling the wildfire since June 9.

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