GALLERIES: COLORADO'S WORST WILDFIRES
LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)- Fire crews battling the High Park Fire burning west of Fort Collins are concerned about a Red Flag Warning that is in effect at noon Friday through Saturday evening. More evacuations were ordered Friday afternoon.
“We’re stubborn. We’re not quitting,” said Fire Incident Commander Bill Hahnenberg.
Additional emergency evacuations were ordered at 3:15 p.m. Friday to include all residents of filings 1 through 8 in Glacier View, homes north of County Rd 74E to include Green Mountain Dr., Mount Axtell Dr., Mount Moriah Rd., Mount Simon Dr. and all connecting roadways in that area. Residents should evacuate to the Ranch on I-25 and Crossroads Blvd.
More evacuations were ordered Friday at 2 p.m. for Hewlett Gulch Road, Deer Meadow Way, Gordon Creek Lane and all connecting roadways in that subdivision. A few minutes later evacuations for North Rim Rd, Hidden Canyon Dr, Willow Mountain Ct, Elkhorn House Rd and Deep Cut Road were ordered.
Residents of Red Feather Lakes and Crystal Lakes need to use Cherokee Park Road (CR 80C) to access their residences as County Road 74E is closed at Mile Marker 9 from Hwy. 287 to the Boy Scout Ranch Road.
Spot fires and increased winds have triggered the new evacuations. There has been an additional 612 emergency evacuation notifications sent for a total of 733 notifications, fire officials estimate that could be 1,000 people.
A 400 acre spot fire triggered the evacuations in the Glacier View area so that firefighters could have easier access to the fire. The wind is pushing the fire to the east up Cedar Gulch where there is heavy fuel and steep terrain.
Fire crews had several days to prepare for the possibility of fire coming close to homes.
“We’ve had hoses putting water out all around the neighborhood to diminish the threat. We’ve had a reasonable time to prepare and we are optimistic that we will be successful. But we’ll keep firefighters out of harm’s way and do our best to protect those structures,” said Hahnenberg.
“We’re trying to go directly on the fire coming up from below and flank the fire and pinch it off as well as be aggressive from above.”
As of Friday morning, the High Park Fire has burned 68,440 acres and is 60 percent contained. It has cost $21.6 million to fight so far.
There are 1,859 fire personnel, 18 helicopters– including 3 Blackhawks, nine bulldozers and 135 engines fighting the fire at this time with a 24-hour work schedule still in place.
The fire was started by lightning on June 9. Firefighters have put in nearly 250,000 hours of work on this fire with only one reported injury.
Fire officials hope that if the battle continues in an aggressive manner this weekend more evacuees may be allowed to return home early next week.
A total of 191 homes have been destroyed. That number is higher than previously reported because of a better assessment. Within the interior of the fire, firefighters have saved 500 structures.
RELATED VIDEO: Friday Afternoon High Park Fire Update
Full containment of the fire is estimated at three weeks away with a goal date of July 15.
The High Park Fire Disaster Recovery Center at Johnson Hall on the Colorado State University Campus is open Mon-Fri 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 Monday, June 25 to Mon. thru Fri. from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The Saturday and Sunday hours will remain the same until further notice.