Friday's Update: 112 Homes Lost In High Park Fire

54,230 Acres Consumed; Fire 20% Contained

At least 112 homes have been lost in the High Park Fire, officials announced Friday afternoon.

Here are the subdivisions that had homes destroyed in the fire, according to a Friday afternoon briefing from the sheriff's office:

-- Solider Canyon - 1 -- Missle Silo Rd (29C) - 1 -- Cloudy Pass - 1 -- Picnic Rock - 1 -- Pine Acres - 5 -- Stratton Park - 21 -- Poudre Canyon - 17 -- Spring Valley - 3 -- Old Flowers - 1 -- Whale Rock - 40 -- Paradise Park - 12 -- Tip Top - 2 -- Rist Creek - 7

The number was expected to rise.

Firefighters on Friday focused their efforts on keeping the northwest flank of the High Park Fire from jumping the Poudre Canyon and threatening another neighborhood.

On Thursday, more than 200 residents in the Glacier View area were told to evacuate when the fire jumped the Poudre River and ignited a spot fire.

The spot fire started Thursday night was estimated at approximately 200 acres Friday afternoon. Hot shot specialist crews have 100 firefighters in addition to heavy helicopters working on this spot fire. The firefighters are focusing on structure protection in the Glacier View area.

The spot fire was burning in an area with 70 percent beetle-kill trees.

"Mother Nature is being very difficult," said Incident Commander Bill Hahnenberg during a Friday morning briefing.

Hahnenberg said if the fire were to get to the beetle-kill, it would become very dangerous for firefighters and difficult to control.

It's "not the kind of place I'm willing to commit firefighters," Hahnenberg said.

Fire officials plan to use five hot shot crews of more than 100 firefighters, assisted by helicopters and air tankers, to build a line around the spot fire.

Hahnenberg said the additional resources would be an "overwhelming force" that he hoped would contain the spot fire.

He said Mother Nature will have to ultimately put out the 54,230 -acre blaze, which may not be completely extinguished until fall.

"We are going to overcome (this fire) by being a combination of smartly aggressive and being persistent," Hahnenberg said.

Progress Made On Other Sides Of High Park Fire

The good news was that firefighters have made progress on other flanks of the fire by Friday morning, working overnight on several controlled burns to expand the containment line.

Over 1,400 personnel are working the fire, including five SEATS (Single-Engine Air Tankers), 11 helicopters, three heavy air tankers and two support aircraft.

A mixed weather forecast of high winds, but also higher humidity is giving firefighters "an opportunity today and tomorrow to make some progress," Hahnenberg said.

The fire has burned 54,230 acres and is officially 20 percent contained. It has cost about $9.1 million to fight.

So far, the Larimer County Sheriff's Office have called 3,000 phone numbers to issue evacuation notices. Of those numbers, only 1,200 have been told they could go back to their homes.

Evacuations Continue For Glacier View, Other Neighborhoods

Late Thursday night, fire officials issued an evacuation order for the 9th, 10th, and 11th filings of Glacier View Meadows, to include the area west of Eiger Road to Rams Horn Mountain Road and north from the Mount Blanc Guardian Peak area to the north end of Mount Everest Drive.

This was in addition to the evacuations of the Glacier View Meadows' 12th filing.

The remaining portions of Glacier View Meadows remain on pre-evacuation alert to be prepared to leave if necessary.

Fire officials issued an all-clear for County Road 29C and McMurry Ranch Road. In addition, an all-clear was issued for the area of Big Bear Road, Bar D Ranch Road, south on the Buckhorn Road to the junction of the Masonville Road, northwest to include Alfalfa Way, Buckhorn Ridge Way and Running Brook Lane. Residents in these areas may return to their homes.

Officials do not anticipate reopening Cloudy Pass, Mill Canyon or Soldier Canyon today. These areas are still being evaluated and more information may be known tomorrow.

There have been unsubstantiated reports of looting in the area of evacuated homes, but the Larimer County Sheriff's Office said residents should be reassured there is a very strong law enforcement and National Guard presence to deter any looting and to date there are no confirmed reports of looting.

Larimer County opened the High Park Fire Disaster Recovery Center on Friday morning, at Johnson Hall on the Colorado State University Campus. The center will be open Mon.-Fri. from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sat.-Sun. from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The center will likely remain open for 3 to 4 weeks to help those who have lost their homes start to rebuild their lives.

Ranch Owner Hopes Donations Can Keep Business Afloat

Terry Anderson is thankful the structures at his Tip Top Guest Ranch have not been destroyed. The land around the ranch his family has owned since 1952, however, has been charred.

"The hay we had up there, of course, is gone. The grass is gone," said Anderson. "We're looking at what can we do to save this business and keep going."

He has 45 horses that are now being cared for off site. Now that the fire has essentially closed his ranch for the foreseeable future, he's struggling with how to pay to either feed his horses or keep them altogether.

"We're trying to save the herd to save the ranch," said Anderson. "Selling the horses, that would lower our chances of being able to reopen."

He is in the process of setting up a Paypal account on his ranch website, slightly embarrassed to have to ask for help.

"I'm just not a person to ask ... we help people and I'm not one to ask for help...," Anderson said as he started to break down.

Drunk Swimmer Draws Rescuers From Wildfire

A drunk camper is facing charges after drawing resources away from the High Park Fire to rescue him.

According to the Denver Post as many as 25 rescuers and firefighters helped save the man from Carter Lake. They feared he might drown.

Deputies responded to a call about a man hitting his girlfriend at Carter Lake, west of Loveland. When they arrived, he jumped into the lake and swam farther from shore as deputies tried to coax him back. He was pulled from the water about 30 minutes later with the help of a dive team.

The deputies were supposed to be at a wildfire briefing 45 miles away from the lake.

The unidentified man was arrested and is facing charges including assault and eluding and resisting officers.

View Larger High Park Fire Map | Google Earth Infrared Map: http://tinyurl.com/8y95l2x

Additional Resources:

Map of Fire from Larimer County: http://larimer.org/highparkfire/inventory_area_map.pdf

Another Larimer County Map: http://larimer.org/highparkfire/HighPark_0613_2200.pdf

InciWeb Link: http://inciweb.org/incident/2904/

Air Quality Link: http://www.colorado.gov/airquality/advisory.aspx

You can also call the Larimer County Emergency Information line at 970-498-5500 or go to http://www.larimer.org for more information.

Larimer County residents can sign up to receive emergency notifications on cell phones or email at www.leta911.org .

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