ESTES PARK, Colo. (CBS4) –Thick smoke moved into Estes Park Thursday as the East Troublesome Fire jumped over the Continental Divide and into Rocky Mountain National Park — forcing residents out into the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re afraid right now of what’s going to happen,” said Estes Park resident Thomas Booth. “Being evacuated into a pandemic is terrifying.”
Booth has lived in his Estes Park home since 2008. He’s getting out of town under a mandatory evacuation order for his West Estes Park neighborhood.
“We’ve been going through the situation for about 70 days now, so we’ve been very concerned and alert through this time, but we weren’t necessarily surprised,” Booth told CBS4’s Andrea Flores. “You take your most important papers, and your pets, and photographs that can’t be replaced.”
By mid-afternoon, YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park was also evacuated.
Just down the road, Kansas visitor Ryan Cooper cut his family vacation short.
“We’ve gotta get out,” Cooper said. “Got here at the cabin on Tuesday, and leaving on Thursday in a hurry.”
While people come to Estes Park for its beauty and wildlife, many are left to wonder what they’ll do once they get out.
“We can’t easily socially distance, we don’t have any place to go right now, so we’re not sure where we’re going from here,” Booth said.