LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. — The Cameron Peak Fire near Chambers Lake in western Larimer County had grown to 14,018 acres by Tuesday, up from about 12,000 on Monday, as crews continued to prepare nearby structures to be protected should the fire reach those areas.
The intensity of the fire and dry conditions in the area were still making it difficult to fight the fire directly. The most growth in the fire on Monday happened along the west and southwest sides of the fire, in the Rawah Wilderness and near Cameron Pass, officials said.
No structures have been damaged by the fire.
Firefighters this week are working to remove fuels from around structures, and placing hoses pumps and sprinklers. Cameron Peak Fire officials said good progress has been made in preparing the areas near structures, a process known as burnout operations.
Tuesday's weather was expected to be highs in the mid-70s and low 80s, with 5-`15 mph winds out of the north and a relative humidity of 15-20%. As of Tuesday,393 crew members were working the fire, along with 1- helicopters.
Crews had completed burnout operations to the east of Long Draw Road.
Crews are also working to remove fuels alongside roads west of Crystal Lakes and Red Feather Lakes. The fire was still about 15 miles southwest of Red Feather Lakes, but the distance was allowing crews to prepare those areas for if the fire reaches there. As of Monday, the fuels and terrain between containment lines and the fire were too hazardous for crews to work, officials said.
On Tuesday afternoon, Rocky Mountain National Park put in place temporary closures in the northwestern area of the park out of an abundance of caution – with the fire burning about 4 miles from the park’s northwest edge.
Among the closures are Mummy Pass Trail, Comanche Peak Trail, Mirror Lake Trail, Poudre River Trail, Crater Trail, Colorado River Trail, Red Mountain Trail, Grand Ditch Access, Skeleton Gulch Trail, Thunder Pass Trail, Little Yellowstone Trail, Holzwarth Historic Site beyond the historic site, Cascade Creek, Cache La Poudre, South Cache La Poudre, Hague Creek and Mosquito Creek.
Cameron Peak Fire officials said Tuesday that they will be issuing credentials for residents and property owners for Red Feather Lakes, Crystal Lakes, Rustic, the Pingree Hill area and people who have already evacuated on Wednesday.
Residents of those areas can stop by the following locations Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. to pick up credentials:
Red Feather Lakes Community Center at 58 Fire House Ln, Red Feather Lakes, CO, 80545
Crystal Lake Base Camp at 300 Tami Rd, Red Feather Lakes, CO, 80545
Stove Prairie Elementary School at 3891 Stove Prairie Rd, Bellvue, 80512
Click here for more information on what you’ll need to bring.
The fire more than doubled in size over the weekend and was "advancing on all fronts" on Sunday, especially along the Laramie River Road corridor.
On Sunday, the fire jumped across Long Draw road, though crews quickly contained its spread. The fire also progressed south toward Cameron Pass and north toward West Branch. A large air tanker was able to drop retardant to slow the spread of the fire to the north. Crews were working to protect structures on private lands in the Laramie River valley.
On Saturday it crossed Highway 14 to the south but has also grown toward the north and east and then to the east and southeast as winds shifted throughout the weekend.
On the south side of Highway 14, the fire became established in heavy fuel areas between Barnes Meadow Reservoir and Long Draw Road.
No structures or campgrounds have been damaged by the fire.
The Rocky Mountain Type 2 Incident Management Blue Team took over command of the fire, which started Thursday afternoon near Chambers Lake, on Saturday morning.
People who have to evacuate can text LCEVAC to 888777 for updates. More information on evacuations, road closures and emergency alerts can be found here.
Residents living near the Long Draw Road and Long Draw Reservoir area - which was on pre-evacuation orders Thursday - were ordered to evacuate Friday evening due to fire activity. Residents were advised to travel west to Gould when leaving this vicinity, as eastbound traffic was not allowed for safety reasons.
The evacuation area also included Deadman Road between County Roads 103 and 73C and Manhattan Road between Rustic and Boy Scout Ranch Road and Pingree Park south and west of Crown Point.
The sheriff’s office said Friday morning that if you live inside the roadblocks on Highway 14 between Gould and Rustic and are not in a mandatory quarantine area, you can access your property by showing proof of address at a roadblock if authorities determine the area is safe.
The Poudre Valley REA said the fire has not impacted its system as of Tuesday morning.
The Cameron Peak Fire is one of four large wildfires burning currently in Colorado, along with the Pine Gulch Fire, Grizzly Creek Fire and Williams Fork Fire, which started Friday in Grand County and grew to more than 6,000 acres over the weekend.