ESTES PARK, Colo. (CBS4) — In a matter of hours the Kruger Rock Fire, fanned by strong wind gusts through dry terrain, charred more than 130 acres on the southern edge of the beloved Town of Estes Park. The fire is believed to have started by sparking power lines, as first reported by CBS4’s Dillon Thomas.
It is currently 15% contained.READ MORE: Eastbound Lanes Of I-70 Closed In Wheat Ridge For Rollover Crash
Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith, who is also the county’s fire marshal, said the fire sparked just after seven in the morning. Investigators found what they believed was an ignition point near power lines.
Residents like Phil Frank said they woke up to learn a fire was burning near his home.
“It was burning up the hill. You could see it cresting the trees,” Frank said. “It was scary, it really raises your blood pressure. We packed up the house, started getting things ready and got the cars loaded.”
Smith said wind gusts were of great concern and caused evacuations to start early.
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“It grew rapidly with the winds up here, they immediately started evacuations,” Smith said.
Residents like David Diggs said they quickly packed up their property and prepared for the worst, yet hoped for the best.
“I was going around the house taking pictures of the rooms,” Diggs said. “When you live up here you do have to prepare for that.”
At time flames could be seen slipping from treetop to treetop, burring flames into the sky more than 50 feet.
“If your house is in the way of that type of fire, I don’t know what you can do,” Diggs said.
Smith said fire crews will continue to battle the blaze and work toward containment through the night.
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“Our concerns, really at this point, become the homes along Highway 36,” Smith said. “If it gets along Highway 36 there is certainly a lot of direction it can go from there. It is our primary focus now.”