LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – On Wednesday, a number of new evacuations were ordered due to the Cameron Peak Fire’s explosive growth, including mandatory evacuations for residents and businesses in Redstone Canyon. Officials urge residents to leave immediately.
The fire grew to over 158,000 acres, making it the largest wildfire in Colorado history.
The mandatory evacuations announced earlier on Wednesday include residents on Otter Road and County Road 27 from 44-H south to Masonville. The mandatory evacuations include Glen Haven, Storm Mountain and Palisade Mountain.
A voluntary evacuation order for Lory State Park was made mandatory just hours later on Wednesday afternoon.
Fire officials have ordered voluntary evacuations for Highway 34 from Drake to just west of the Dam Store.
“We know the firefighters are really good, they’ve done a wonderful job, but I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty worried,” said Sarah Behunek, who evacuated her home southwest of Horsetooth Reservoir.
Strong winds have created extreme fire conditions for firefighters with two primary areas of concern, on the northeast end of the fire, south of Bellaire Lake and the southeast side near the CSU Mountain Campus.
The smoke plume from the Cameron Peak Fire could be seen from Interstate 25 near Berthoud.
“Looking at that smoke it looks like hell on earth,” said Warren Parks, who evacuated his home up Buckhorn Canyon last Friday. “That could be my house burning, that could be all of our neighbors’ houses burning. Yeah, it’s terrifying.”
Poudre School District is considering switching to remote learning for all schools in the district because of the poor air quality associated with the Cameron Peak Fire.
The American Red Cross has opened an evacuation site at the Embassy Suites, 4705 Clydesdale Pkwy in Loveland for those needing shelter assistance.
The Cameron Peak Fire is 56% contained and burning two miles southwest of Red Feather Lakes.