FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – A wildfire west of Fort Collins sent out a large plume of smoke and was forcing authorities into emergency action Friday afternoon.
Officials were calling the fire the Solider Canyon Fire until 5 p.m. when officials changed the name to Galena Fire. The fire is burning near homes and near Lory State Park by Horsetooth Reservoir. That’s west of Fort Collins.
The fire had burned between 750 and 1,000 acres as of 8 p.m. Friday. The fire is moving to the south/southeast and was fanned by winds blowing around 15 mph. The erratic winds make it tough to fight.
“A lot of resources in general that deal with wild land fire are not available. They are basically in winter mode. For one reason or another may not be available and it could be due to maintenance, also with the winds that we’re having today we would have been able to, if we would have flown anything it would have been a very, very narrow window,” said Poudre Fire Authority Patrick Love at Friday evening’s news conference.
The fire was five percent contained as of 8 p.m. Friday. At least 50 homes are threatened by the fire.
Evacuations were initially sent for residents living north and west of Lory State Park. That included residents living on Red Cedar Drive and Galena Ct. Additional evacuations have been sent to residents living west of Horsetooth Reservoir on the south side and those evacuations were being conducted as of 4 p.m. Friday.
There were mandatory evacuation orders sent to 579 phone numbers in the area. The amount of homes could be fewer than that number because several phone numbers may be registered to the emergency contact registry.
The fire is being pushed from the north by strong winds. The area affected is north of Co Rd 38e. This includes all feeder streets to Shoreline Drive in the vicinity of Inlet Bay and north up to and including the Continental Circle area. It is not now known how many homes this involves.
One structure was apparently destroyed in the fire, although it wasn’t clear what type of structure it was.
The preliminary evacuation center was set up at the Cache La Poudre Elementary School gymnasium at 3515 County Road 54G in LaPorte.
The cause of the fire remains undetermined.
Just after 1 p.m. a second wildland fire was reported at 2500 Eddy Lane just north of Fort Collins. Resources were diverted to that fire which is was reported to be contained at 4:30 p.m. Friday.
Stay tuned to CBS4 for updates.
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