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Blog: Latest on evacuations, road closures as wildfires rage across the Front Range

Cameron Peak, Calwood fires rage amid red flag conditions
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Posted at 4:10 PM, Oct 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-18 21:42:19-04

Spurred by erratic winds, existing and new wildfires flared up Saturday, prompting several evacuations and road closures.

The Cameron Peak Fire, sparked on Aug. 13, moved eastward toward Loveland through the afternoon Saturday. The Cameron Peak Fire grew to a total of 203,253 acres as of Sunday.

A large area of Boulder County, including the towns of Jamestown and Ward, are under a mandatory evacuation order after two new wildfires sparked over the weekend.

The 8,788-acre Calwood Fire started Saturday and is burning near the Cal-Wood Education Center in the Jamestown area. On Sunday, a new wildfire, dubbed the Lefthand Canyon Fire, started in the 14,000 block of Lefthand Canyon Drive near the town of Ward. It has charred 242 acres as of Sunday afternoon.

CDOT is urging travellers to avoid unnecessary trips in the area and allow emergency responders and evacuating residents to move as needed. Closures are in place in and around areas impacted by wildfire activity; all closures can be found at www.cotrip.org.

In the live blog below, we are providing the latest updates on all wildfire activity in the state:


Sunday

7:40 p.m. | Twenty-six homes have been lost in the Calwood Fire, as of Sunday night, Boulder County officials said. Most of the badly damaged homes were on the eastern side of the fire, along Mountain Ridge Drive and Foothills Ranch Drive.

The Calwood Fire was about 15% contained as of Sunday night. The most concerning area of the fire was the northern ridge of the fire area, due to the steep, rocky terrain and dry fuels, officials said.

4:39 p.m. | The Lefthand Canyon Fire has grown to 242 acres

2:27 p.m. | Additional mandatory evacuation orders were issued in the Lefthand Canyon Fire.

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2:16 p.m. | The evacuation point for the Lefthand Canyon Fire is the Nederland Community Center, 750 Peak to Peak Hwy.

2:13 p.m. | Two wildfires burning in Boulder County -- the Calwood Fire and the Lefthand Canyon Fire -- has impacted thousands of people in the last 24 hours. This map shows the mandatory evacuation areas (red) and the pre-evacuation areas (yellow):

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1:55 p.m. | The estimated size of the Lefthand Canyon Fire is five acres. The number of home issued an evacuation order in the fire is 145.

1:24 p.m. | A new Boulder County wildfire burning in the 14,000 block of Lefthand Canyon Drive has prompted authorities to issue an evacuation order for the town of Ward. The fire is being called the Lefthand Canyon Fire.

12:24 p.m. | Cameron Peak Fire officials have lifted the mandatory evacuations for the Manhattan Road, Shambhala Center and County Road 103 from the Tunnel Campground north.

10:44 a.m. | The Calwood Fire near Jamestown is at 8,788 acres and 0% contained as of Sunday morning.

10:06 a.m. | The Cameron Peak Fire grew to a total of 203,253 acres as of Sunday. The fire remained at 62% containment at last check.

9:53 a.m. | East Troublesome Fire Update: The fire is 11,562 acres and 5% contained.

9:32 a.m. | Calwood Fire Update: Road closures remain in place due to fire activity.

9:22 a.m. | Cameron Peak Fire Update: In a Facebook post, Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith said homes were lost Saturday.

"The winds also fed back into a spot fire east of Christ Mountain east of CR 27 near the upper Redstone Canyon area. That fire grows substantially throughout the day yesterday and we know it burned homes along the upper part of Otter Rd and on the western portion of upper Redstone Canyon.

Back in The Retreat in Glen Haven, unfortunately, the fire did consume some homes overnight and through the day on Saturday, but thankfully it did not race through the subdivision," Sheriff Smith wrote.

Saturday

10:05 p.m. | Multiple homes are feared lost, although the exact number was not yet known in a Saturday evening press briefing. Division Chief Mike Wagner of the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office said there was no lightning strike data in the area which could rule out a natural cause for the fire.

More from the press conference:

  • 1,600 homes in the evacuation area
  • 2,600 structures total in the evacuation area
  • Around 3,000 people impacted

8:58 p.m. | N. Broadway & Iris evacuation point is closed and will reopen at 9 a.m. Sunday, Boulder Office of Emergency Management tweeted.
'Please call the public call center up until 10 p.m. tonight if you are impacted by the #CalWoodFire at 303-413-7730.'

8:47 p.m. | The Boulder County Sheriff's Office will hold an on-camera press briefing at 9:15 p.m. at Silver Creek High School.

8:23 p.m. | An estimated 7,064 acres have been burned in the Calwood fire, according to the Boulder Office of Emergency Management.

7:41 p.m. | Evacuation orders lifted east of N. Foothills Hwy, Boulder Office of Emergency Mgmt tweeted.
‘Town of Lyons residents, including those on Apple Valley Road up to Highway 36, are being advised to be prepared to evacuate in case the fire behavior changes tomorrow.’

7:36 p.m. | N. Foothills Hwy will stay closed between Boulder & Lyons. South St. Vrain (Hwy 7) also will remain closed between Lyons and Peak-to-Peak hwy, @Boulder_OEM tweeted.

6:40 p.m. | Near 900 homes are in the Calwood Fire evacuation area, according to a tweet from @BoulderOEM. 'We have had many residents from that area check in at the evacuation point at the North Boulder Complex on Broadway and Iris'.

5:32 p.m. | A new fire, called the Forest Road Fire, has charred 0.41 acres in Douglas County. The fire is burning 12 miles southwest of Castle Rock, near Rock Springs Campground. Two helicopters and multiple agencies are responding.

5:12 p.m. | An emergency call center has been opened for the Calwood Fire. The phone number is 303-413-7730. Please use this phone number for non-emergency questions about the fire.

4:31 p.m. | Calwood Fire Update: Livestock (horses, cows, sheep, chickens, pigs, etc.) shelter at the Boulder County Fairgrounds, 9595 Nelson Rd, Longmont. Pets (cats, dogs, etc.) can go with you to evacuation point at Iris/Broadway or to the Boulder Valley Humane Society, 2323 55th St, Boulder.

4:16 p.m. | CDOT road closures/advisories:

  • Highway 7 closed between Lyons - Hwy 72 (Peak to Peak Highway) for emergency operations due to wildfire. No estimated time to reopen. Travel north of Boulder/Estes Park area strongly discouraged.
  • US 36 closed between Neva Road (north of Boulder) to Lyons for emergency operations due to wildfire. Eastbound US 36 partially open from Lyons to Hwy 66 junction. No estimated time to reopen. Travel north of Boulder/Estes Park area strongly discouraged.
  • Hwy 125 closed near Granby north of US 40 (Willow Creek Pass) for emergency operations due to wildfire. No estimated time to reopen.
  • Hwy 14 closed between Walden - Stove Prairie Road for emergency operations due to wildfire. No estimated time to reopen.
  • US 34 closed west of Loveland through Big Thompson Canyon to Estes Park for emergency operations due to wildfire. No estimated time to reopen.

4:13 p.m. | Cameron Peak Update: A spot fire near Buckskin Heights that was initially reported at 12:15 p.m. -- at 3:00 p.m. this spot fire was estimated at 75 to 100 acres in size. Structures have been impacted.

4:12 p.m. | Cameron Peak Fire officials have ordered Voluntary evacuations for County Road 38E from Rim Rock Valley Lane to South Bay.