LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) — For the first time in nearly three months, all evacuations for the Cameron Peak Fire will be lifted by the end of Monday night. Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith said the fire is 85% contained, and promising weather conditions are working in the firefighters’ favor.
After 82 days of fire, a recent snowstorm heavily assisted firefighters in their effort to stop the spread. The state’s largest fire ever is still burning — and the East Troublesome Fire is still burning nearby. However, Smith said favorable conditions will allow all residents to return home and all main roads will be reopened to the public.
While hundreds of buildings, including many homes, have been lost in the blaze, Smith said he believes the wildlife, terrain and communities will bounce back strongly.
“For those who had homes or properties damaged or destroyed, this is still a long, long process and our hearts go out to each and every person affected,” Smith wrote. “For many years, private property owners and federal land agencies will be working on restoration from damage inflicted by these fires. Recreation areas known and loved by locals and visitors from around the country have been altered and restoration of many of those areas will take years or decades.”
“However, in many areas, I expect to see the signs of new life rather quickly. It’s amazing to see the sprouting of green in burned areas, even in the offseason. The natural habitat has an amazing ability to regenerate,” Smith said.
For the time being, forest restrictions will remain enforced.