GRANBY, Colo. (CBS4) – The Grand County Sheriff ordered everyone living near Grand Lake to get out Wednesday night. It seems that the evacuation order came down just in time, as the East Troublesome Fire began morphing into a monster, gulping up tens of thousands of acreage. CBS4 talked with Colorado firefighters who were on the front lines of a wildfire that grew by 100,000 acres in a single day.
“What you’re looking at right now is what we came off of, which is Kenny Creek,” John Demaris said of the plume rising over South Granby.
Demaris is a wildland firefighter and he was working with his crew throughout the night to try to keep it from burning homes and structures.
“Probably around 7 o’clock last night it crested that ridge, crossed our dozer line and it just made a run,” he said.
There were times that Demaris was right against the flames.
“When you’re in a dozer like that, you’re punching a line and what that means is you’re going right on that fire edge,” he said.
The fire moved so fast he had to move out of the area, but he tried his best to protect buildings.
“We work with a lot of the engines, and a lot of the task force guys and what we’ll do is go ahead and punch a line so we’ll put a line around the house and push any debris away from the houses, it just gives them a fighting chance.”
After working 24 hours he says he’s going to get a little sleep and get back out to the fight.
“We have houses and stuff of our own up there so the gut-wrenching feeling, I definitely feel for the community and it’s hard but the community will come back together, they can rebuild and that makes it stronger,” Demaris added.