The High Park Fire near Fort Collins is now 85 percent contained and could be fully contained this weekend, officials said.
"Things are looking very good on the High Park Fire, said Incident Commander Beth Lund.
Containment means there is a line around the entire fire zone, it does not mean the fire is out.
Officials said the fire did not grow in size on Wednesday.
Today, about 1,900 people will be allowed to go home in the Rist Canyon area at 5 p.m. The areas being reopened are: Rist Canyon Road (and all connecting roadways) west to Stove Prairie Road, Old Flowers Road from Stove Prairie Road to the 8000 block of Old Flowers Road and Stove Prairie Road between Buckhorn Road and Bent Timber Lane.
On Wednesday, officials reopened Red Feather Lakes Road (CR74E) and all of the Glacier View subdivisions except the 12th Filing.
Fire officials also opened Highway 14 for residents from Missile Silo Road to Mishiwaka, Stove Prairie Road for residents from Stringtown Gulch Road to Buckhorn Road, and Redstone Canyon Road to residents from Christ Mountain Road to the Laurence Creek entrance gate.
Fighting The Fire
There are 1,313 fire personnel assigned to the High Park Fire.
Equipment resources include: 17 hand crews, 103 engines, 11 dozers and 18 water tenders.
Air resources include: 7 helicopters plus a helicopter with a radiometric imaging system attached.
On Thursday, crews will continue line reinforcement, mop-up and structure protection to maintain existing control lines. The remote sensing data will be used tactically to guide firefighters to remaining heat pockets around structures and within unburned islands in the interior of the burn area. Hazard trees are being removed along public roads to allow power companies to restore electricity and meet re-entry requirements.
Much of the fire shows no smoke, but substantial heat remains throughout the fire zone, officials said on Inciweb. Firefighters are searching out remaining hotspots throughout the fire and putting them out. Boyd Lebeda of Colorado State Forestry gave supervisors a baseball analogy: "Weve pitched a great game now we have to get these last outs."
The High Park Fire has burned 87,284 acres and is 85 percent contained.
Officials believe a lightning strike on June 6 smoldered for days then ignited the fire on June 9.
At least 257 homes have been destroyed in the foothills west of Fort Collins.
The containment date was moved from July 30 to July 15 then July 1.
The cost of fighting the fire so far is $33.5 million.
View Larger High Park Fire Map
| Google Earth Infrared Map: http://tinyurl.com/8y95l2x
Burn map and inventory of structures: http://larimer.org/highparkfire/highpark_0622_0130.pdf
High Park Fire Public Information Map, 6/21/2012: http://bit.ly/Makh0I
Photos and video from the National Guard of the High Park Fire are available at the following sites:
The Rist Canyon, Glacier View and Poudre Canyon volunteer fire departments are looking for donations to help defray the costs of firefighters assigned to the High Park Fire.
To make a donation, please visit their websites at: Glacier View Fire - www.glacierviewfiredept.com Rist Canyon Fire - www.rcvfd.org Poudre Canyon Fire - www.poudre-fire.org
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