LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office issued mandatory evacuations for residents in Red Feather and Crystal Lakes on Sunday. The Cameron Peak Fire is burning in the area.

(credit: CBS)

The National Weather Service says gusty wind on Sunday helped the fire flare. The U.S. Forest Service says the activity was active on the northwest perimeter, and the fire is moving east.

They add firefighters were “pulled to safety zones.”

Those on Manhattan Road down to Highway 14 and Shambhala Center areas were also notified to evacuate. Voluntary evacuations were issued for those living in Glacier View, Lady Moon and Magic Sky Ranch.

“Today was scarier than last time it seemed a little more extreme,” Alison said.

She is just one of many residents living near Cameron Peak who have recently just unpacked from their last evacuation.  Sunday afternoon however, they were warned to leave immediately.  We met her and others at the Red Cross Evacuation Center set up at Cache La Poudre Middle School.

“For the last week it’s been real quiet, this afternoon around 1 o’clock the wind started changing,” John Pedicone said.

Pedicone said he saw lots of smoke near his house in the Red Feather Lakes area.  He thinks the fire was just about 2 miles away.

“I mean they went in there with plows they got trucks on standby, but there’s nothing you can do with the wind,” he said.

Paul Bruggink, a public information officer for the US Forest Service explained, gusts fanned flames right into areas with heavy brush, bringing the fire closer to homes.

“The break in weather after the snow allowed us to go direct on the fire line, which is actually fighting right on the perimeter of the fire,” Bruggink told CBS4.

But now with the snow melted, and flames going back up, crews had to back off.

“Evidently, it is getting close and it hopped across the one road,” Pedicone said.

The fire has burned more than 104,000 acres and is 15% contained. A shelter is set up at Cache La Poudre Middle School on County road 54G.

Multiple Type 1 helicopters and three single engine airtankers are responding to drop water and retardant to try to slow down the fire spread.

Last weekend, sheriff’s officials announced 54 buildings were destroyed in the fire — 25 of them being homes.

RELATED: Wildfire Smoke Returns This Week, Continued Very Warm

State health officials noted extreme fire behavior at the Cameron Peak Fire and the Mullen Fire burning in Wyoming. They expect smoke to creep into the Denver metro area by Monday morning.

LINK: NoCo Alert

Jacqueline Quynh

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