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Firefighters make progress along eastern, southeastern edges of Cameron Peak Fire on Sunday

Highway 34 from Loveland Pass to Estes Park and Highway 36 from Lyons to Estes Park remain open
Cameron Peak Fire_Oct 17 2020
Posted at 11:20 AM, Oct 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-20 00:37:00-04

LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. — Lighter wind and higher humidity helped firefighters Sunday as they continue to try to wrangle the largest wildfire in Colorado history.

The Cameron Peak Fire is, as of Monday evening, 204,404 acres. Crews were able to make more progress over the weekend, bringing the fire's containment levels up to 51%. They are continuing to focus on containing the part of the fire that made a massive run on Wednesday, as seen in red in the map below. It was first reported on Aug. 13 in the pink and purple area.

Cameron Peak Fire progression map_Oct 19 2020
Cameron Peak Fire progression map

Paul Delmerico, operations section chief for the Rocky Mountain Team 1, said "things look good" on the fire's western side and all the way north. Despite the large run, crews have had good success along 44 H Buckhorn Road.

There is a 2,400-acre spot fire on the blaze's eastern edge, but firefighters have it almost completely contained, with the exception of the northern tip. Firefighters are working to secure that section, though it's proving difficult in the steep, dry terrain. Delmerico said they expect to have that whole spot fire in containment lines by the end of shift Monday.

At the far eastern tip of the fire, 50 fire personnel are working. They found an old burn scar in that area that will prevent the fire from spreading farther south, Delmerico said.

On the southern edge of the part of the fire that moved east on Wednesday, firefighters are continuing to try to hold the fire from moving south as well. On this part of the fire's southwestern side, just west of Glen Haven, there is some fire activity but no threat, Delmerico said. Crews are scouting for places to create a fireline from The Retreat to Storm Mountain to protect values.

Cameron Peak Fire map Oct 19 2020

Firefighters continued mitigation work to secure structures in the upper portions of The Retreat and Storm Mountain. They also scouted for new areas to create fireline from The Retreat to Storm Mountain.

The main focus for the entire eastern and southeastern part off the fire to to prevent it from moving beyond Buckhorn Road or east of County Road 27.

The Glen Haven Area Volunteer Fire Department said there is still some active fire in the drainage that runs east from Copper Hill and Black Creek. However, it's moving uphill, away from The Retreat. The fire department said there's also active fire on the Bulwark Ridge of Signal Mountain. A team is working to prevent it from dropping downhill into the North Fork drainage.

Dry and windy conditions may increase fire activity on Monday. The west side of the fire will see winds of 25 to 35 mph, with gusts up to 55 mph. The eastern side is slightly calmer, with winds 15 to 25 mph and gusts of 30 to 40 mph, according to Rocky Mountain Type 1 Incident Management Team.

Multiple locations around the edges of the fire are under voluntary or mandatory evacuations. For details, view the evacuations in the map below, or go here for the full list of evacuations and closures.

For more information on evacuations, call 970-980-2500 or click here.

The Loveland Fire Rescue Authority said the Ranch Events Complex is assisting with residents who have evacuated and have livestock or large animals. Anybody who needs help or has a trailer to help is welcome to contact Troy Badberg with the Larimer County Sheriff's Office at 970-443-3231.

The smoke impact for Monday along the Front Range will be relatively small compared to the past week. Estes Park, Longmont and Boulder will see moderate smoke that may affect sensitive individuals if they're outside. The smoke outlook is rated as "good" for Tuesday across the whole area.

Cameron Peak Fire smoke outlook Oct 19 2020

The Colorado Center of Excellence and Advanced Technology has set up a live view of the Cameron Peak Fire from Horsetooth Mountain, which can be viewed here.

The cause of the Cameron Peak Fire remains under investigation. It is the first wildfire in Colorado history to grow beyond 200,000 acres.

Denver7 Gives has started a new fundraising campaign for victims of Colorado's wildfires. To donate, go here and then look for "Help Colorado Wildfire Victims" in the dropdown. We are working with our community partners up and down the Front Range to ensure every dollar raised stays in Colorado and helps families who've lost so much.