NewsWildfire

Actions

Colorado wildfire updates: Winter storm 'pauses' active growth of wildfires

Story will be updated blog-style with updates on Colorado's major wildfires
Posted: 3:14 PM, Oct 22, 2020
Updated: 2020-10-26 12:16:26-04
eastroublesome.png

DENVER – The East Troublesome Fire is now the second-largest fire in state history at 192,560 acres after it grew more than 150,000 acres over the last couple of days. The fire has forced evacuations in both Grand and Larimer counties, including all of Estes Park, which has a population of 6,400 people. It is 10% contained as of Sunday.

Saturday, due to extreme winds, the East Troublesome Fire intensified and continued to make a significant run to the east from the Continental Divide toward Bear Lake Road in Rocky Mountain National Park causing additional mandatory evacuations of the Estes Valley

With the snow that fell across the fire on Saturday night, no active spread is anticipated Sunday. Fire activity may increase again in the coming week as a drying trend resumes.

Meanwhile, the Cameron Peak, Calwood, Lefthand Canyon, Middle and Williams Fork fire continue to burn in the foothills and central and northern mountains of Colorado.

The CalWood Fire reached 76% containment on Saturday. Fire behavior on both fires was minimal Saturday despite a Red Flag Warning being in effect. Smoke was observed from the fires, yet both fires remained inside established containment lines. A winter storm warning has been issued through 6 a.m. Monday morning for the fire area.

MORE: List: Mandatory and voluntary evacuations and pre-evacuations for Colorado's wildfires

The American Red Cross has opened evacuation centers at the following areas:

  • Loveland: Embassy Suites, 4705 Clydesdale Pkwy
  • Westminster: City Park Rec Center, 10455 Sheridan Blvd.
  • Black Hawk: Isle of Capri, 401 Main Street

We will be providing blog-style updates on the respective fires as they happen in the story below.


East Troublesome Fire

InciWeb | Facebook

Evacuation Map

Monday, Oct. 26

10:04 a.m. | 6 to 12 inches of snow falls on East Troublesome Fire, suppresses fire activity

The East Troublesome Fire area saw six to 12 inches of snow since Sunday and fire officials said it will help halt fire growth for the next few days.

“A very good dump of snow for us and very welcome in terms of support to the work we're doing and to getting these fires to stopped, so we’re really tickled to see that,” Pacific Northwest Team 3 Incident Commander Noel Livingston said.

Livingston said it started raining on the fire around 11 a.m. Sunday, which quickly switched to snow. Once snow started, they saw no fire activity throughout the day and overnight. While the snow is welcomed, Livingston said it also creates challenges. They had to pull most of their crews out once accumulation began and road conditions worsened Sunday.

They saw very little change to the footprint of the fire as a result of the conditions. Containment increased to 15% and the fire didn't see growth overnight, remaining at 192,560 acres.

Read the full story here.

Sunday, Oct. 25

10 p.m. Here is today's roundup on the snowfall at Colorado's wildfires.

Snowstorm brings much-needed relief to Colorado, wildfires

5:46 p..m. The following areas have been lifted from pre-evacuation orders: all areas South of Highway 40; the Town of Granby, the Town of Hot Sulphur Springs; the south end of County Rd 21, all areas south of Granby through Tabernash.

4:40 p.m. Fire officials have downgraded mandatory evacuations to voluntary evacuations for the following areas: the Estes Valley east of the Marys Lake Road corridor, east of the Elm Road corridor and east of the Fall River Road corridor.

12:56 p.m. Fire officials have downgraded mandatory evacuations to voluntary evacuations for the following areas: Highway 7 to Allenspark, the east side of Highway 7 east to Panorama Peak, and Highway 34 from Mall Road to Drake.

Volunteer step in to help winterize properties in fire evacuation zones

11:35 a.m. People who live in Estes Park area being allowed back in for the purpose of winterizing their homes.

11:32 a.m. Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin said Sunday that homes have been lost in the East Troublesome Fire, but he was not prepared to release the preliminary numbers at this time. Assessment teams are still going through areas.

9:19 a.m. The evacuation warning in Boulder County for the Meeker Park and Wild Basin area has been lifted.

Saturday, Oct. 24

6:09 p.m. Fire officials said they don't expect to see any significant fire movement Sunday amid the snowfall expected in the area.

6:04 p.m. Good containment on the western flank of the fire was maintained Saturday, fire officials said. The fire grew about 10,000 acres Saturday.

5:50 p.m. East Troublesome firefighters will take advantage of the “pause” put on the growth of the fire during the upcoming winter storm.

Colorado wildfires rage toward Estes Park

5:30 p.m. Gov. Jared Polis tweeted that "The state, along with fire departments and law enforcement from Larimer, Grand, and Boulder Counties have 73 aircraft, 253 fire engines, 3,617 firefighters and dozens of hand crews and the Colorado National Guard fighting the spread of these devastating wildfires. We will do everything in our power to protect the town of Estes Park and every community that is threatened by these historic fires in our state."

2:15 p.m. The northwest area of Boulder County is under an evacuation warning due to the East Troublesome Fire. The pre-evacuation notice does not include
Allenspark.

1:38 p.m. Fire was still holding west of the Bear Lake Road. The east side of the fire has split into two fingers with one moving northeast along the Big Thompson River and one east along Mill Creek.

11:38 a.m. Westbound Highway 7 is closed between Highway 72 and First Street. Northbound Highway 7 is closed to Estes Park due to nearby wildfire.

11:20 a.m. The fire has made a significant run east towards the YMCA camp. The fire was less than a mile from Bear Lake Road.

10:05 a.m. The town administrator for Estes Park signed a declaration of emergency Saturday due to the East Troublesome Fire.

8:58 a.m. Fire officials have ordered Mandatory Evacuations along Highway 34 from Estes Park to Drake due to the East Troublesome Fire.

8:34 a.m. Firefighters are anticipating a busy day Saturday. A Red Flag Warning has been issued today for the area. Their biggest concern is the eastern and southeastern corner of the fire. That will be their focus Saturday. Here are other highlights from a press briefing early Saturday from the incident commander:

  • Our focus is again on potential fire spread with the predicted winds
  • Red Flag warning in effect
  • Those winds in combo with low humidity is our concern
  • The west flank made some great progress yesterday
  • The line there held and established some new lines on the south and east part
  • Across the southern flank behind Granby, made great progress there too
  • We have a good solid containment line there which reduces potential threat to Granby
  • Firefighters working amongst the house going up from Granby to Grand Lake to tie lines
  • They will do that again today
  • Took a lot of heat out of the fire
  • Continued threat along eastern and southeastern corner
  • That will be our focus today
  • We were able to get into RMNP and evaluate the road damage
  • Thompson Zone part of the fire is still very active
  • The northern side of the fire has an uncontained fire edge
  • That’s where we will see the most spread today because we don’t have lines up there
  • No imminent risk to structures and communities on the northern side
  • Primary focus is on southern and eastern flanks
  • Another very active fire day today
  • We’re engaged and got the resources
  • We’re anticipating a busy day
  • We’ll talk to you tomorrow hopefully with some snow on the ground

8:28 a.m. East Troublesome Fire officials have upgraded to mandatory evacuations for Highway 7 from Lily Lake to Allens Park, to the Larimer County line.

Friday, Oct. 23

7:54 p.m. The Denver Health Winter Park Medical Center is now open 24/7 to support firefighters and the communities of Grand Lake, Granby, Tabernash, Fraser and Winter Park due to the East Troublesomre Fire, Denver Health officials say.

Click here for more info.

6:15 p.m. East Troublesome Fire spokesperson Dan Quinones said the fire was 188,079 acres in size and 5% contained on Friday evening after an infrared flight earlier in the afternoon – meaning it grew 17,493 during the day Friday.

Though the growth was smaller than days past, Quinones and Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin noted that was still a fair amount of growth for a fire in a day.

Full news conference: Grand county officials provide update on East Troublesome Fire on Friday, Oct. 23 at 6 p.m.

That being said, winds were calmer than expected on Friday and relative humidity was higher than it has been, which allowed aircraft to perform water drops throughout the day and other firefighters to work extensively on lines on the southern edge of the fire north of Hot Sulphur Springs and Granby they hope to have completed within the next 24 hours. Structure protection efforts continued near Grand Lake and north from Lake Granby, where there was slow movement of the fire on Friday, Quinones said.

The spot fire on the eastern side of the Continental Divide, which forced evacuations in Estes Park on Thursday, has slowed down and nearly stalled growth-wise on Friday.

Officials will be watching the winds ahead of the incoming cold front expected to hit Saturday night to see how the fire behaves and whether it will move east or southeast or continue burning more on the northern edge.

But even with the snowstorm, Quinones said firefighters were “not banking on that to be a season-ending event by any means,” saying that while the snow – in whatever amounts the area receives – will help, but drier and warmer conditions are expected to return next week.

Schroetlin emphasized, as he did earlier in the day, that there is still a “significant’ amount of fire over the northern part of the county and spot fires will still igniting “all over.”

“A house that was good yesterday might not be good today,” he said.

Both officials stressed that protecting life and safety was still the top priority and that structure and infrastructure protection were next.

“I just want to emphasize the risk is still very, very dangerous in there,” Schroetlin said. “…This is not done. We need to secure things before we can get people back into this community. … Let us work, and together we’ll get through this.”

Schroetlin said that there were many conversations among officials Friday on how to get power and gas restored to properties ahead of the incoming snowstorm and freezing weather and said that was a top priority to address in the county.

Since the fire is now the top priority in the nation, Quinones said even more resources were being directed that way and that Friday made fire officials “highly optimistic” about their progress after the two prior days of massive growth and defensive firefighting.

“We’ve been reactionary over the last few days with the winds. Today was a proactive day, and we’re going to continue to keep moving on that — not only on the remainder of this shift, but we also have night shift out there, Quinones said. “So, we’re doing 24 hours of suppression on this fire and we’re going to take every advantage that we can.”

5:21 p.m. Family members say they believe couple died in Grand Lake home when East Troublesome Fire roared through

The family members of a couple from the Grand Lake area say they believe their loved ones died inside their home when the East Troublesome Fire burned through the area this week, though officials in Grand County are not confirming any deaths thus far.

Glenn Hileman told ABC News that he and other members of his family believe his parents, 86-year-old Lyle Hileman and 84-year-old Marylin Hileman, perished in the fire. Hileman said his father had told him that he and his wife were going to the basement of their home in Grand Lake as the fire encroached on Wednesday night, forcing hundreds in Grand County to flee their homes in a matter of minutes.

In a statement, Glenn Hileman said that his parents had said that “the big one” was burning the entire valley that night and that they were going to stay inside their picturesque yellow home.

“They were together and calm. There is no other way they would’ve preferred to leave this life and certainly no where else they would have selected as a final resting place,” Glenn Hileman’s statement said.

Click here to read the full story.

3:23 p.m. Voter information for Coloradans displaced by the wildfires

Voters affected by the wildfires needing a replacement ballot can get one at any Voter Service and Polling Center (VSPC) in their county or request a ballot be mailed to them, as long as that request is made by Monday, Oct. 26, the Colorado Secretary of State's Office says. Voters displaced outside of their county can receive a replacement statewide ballot at any VSPC in the state. Those who have voted their mail ballot can place it in any drop box in the state of Colorado and it will be forwarded to their appropriate county.

In addition, first responders working to combat fires, as well as voters who have been displaced by a fire can receive and return an emergency replacement ballot electronically, using Colorado’s electronic ballot delivery system. Contact your county clerk for more information about emergency ballots, and for the latest status on VSPC and drop box closures or other voter service interruptions.

2:23 p.m. The Colorado Department of Transportation reopened Highway 40 between Granby and Hot Sulphur Springs Friday afternoon after it closed on Wednesday because of the East Troublesome Fire. CDOT says travel in the area is still not advised. Highway 34 and Highway 125 remain closed. Click here for the latest road conditions.

2:04 p.m. | Stanley Hotel hosts hundreds of firefighters battling wildfires

The Stanley Hotel has opened its doors to hundreds of firefighters who are currently battling the East Troublesome and Cameron Peak Fires burning on both sides of Estes Park.

“The Fire Marshal Kevin Sullivan called me and said ‘hey can I have a couple of free rooms?’” said Stanley Hotel Owner John Cullen. “With every hour that number went up a hundred rooms and we have about 500 in house now and we’re going to feed about 800 tonight.”

Cullen said during the winter months, the hotel only employs a handful of staff members.

But with just nine employees, Cullen told Denver7, the hotel is at 100 percent capacity, and they are prepared to do whatever they can to help the first responders.

Click here to read the full story.

1:33 p.m. The East Troublesome Fire has been broken into two zones divided by the Continental Divide. The side on the west side of the Divide will be called the Granby Zone and the east side of the fire, near Estes Park, will be called the Thompson Zone. Some reports from the Thompson Zone will come from Cameron Peak officials.

1:05 p.m. Clear Creek County is temporarily closing county lands in response to the East Troublesome Fire and other wildfires in Colorado.

All historic district public lands and county open space lands will be closed, along with Virginia Canyon Mountain Park in Idaho Springs, Denver Mountain Parks in Clear Creek County, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife lands.

The U.S. Forest Service earlier this week shut down all National Forest forest lands in Clear Creek County and four other Front Range counties.

12:55 p.m. Rocky Mountain National Park said the park remains closed due to a spot fire from the East Troublesome Fire.

Thursday, National Weather Service picked up a heat signature in the Spruce Creek drainage on the east side of the Continental Divide. Park Fire lookouts from near the Ute Trail along Trail Ridge Road confirmed a smoke column out of Spruce Creek. The fire has remained in that general location, which is around the same area as the Fern Lake Fire of 2012.

As of Thursday night, the fire moved north of the Coyote Valley Trailhead.

They confirmed the park did lose some structures on the west side after the fire ran approximately 18 miles into RMNP Wednesday. Initial assessment indicate the loss is minimal, though they're not able to fully assess the impact at this time.

East Troublesome Fire update — 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 23

12:30 p.m. During Friday's press conference, Incident Commander Noel Livingston said Thursday was an active fire day and while cooler weather and more moisture are helping, there will likely still be areas of high fire activity in the coming days.

Fire crews saw activity on the north side of the fire with active flanking and crowning on bug kill and heavy fuels. They saw growth up to the county line and also some spread east. Livingston said this part of the fire put up a lot of the smoke that was visible Thursday afternoon.

The spot fire on the east side of the Continental Divide in the Wuh Mountain area became an area of concern. It started spreading downslope towards Estes Park, which is what prompted the evacuations Thursday. The incident management team at Cameron Peak came over to assist and the cooler weather significantly helped the fire on the east side of the Rocky Mountain crest. There is still a potential for the fire to move into the community, but as of now, it's slowed down.

On the southern flank of fire, they were concerned about continued growth south toward Granby, which will continue to be an area of focus Friday. Livingston said the area has lighter fuels that can spread quickly, but are easier to suppress. Fire crews are working dozer lines north of Hot Sulphur Springs to further containment and keep the fire from threatening Highway 40 or Hot Sulphur Springs.

Their primary goal Friday is ensuring evacuations. The second goal is protection of communities. The third is point protection of residents out in urban interface. Livingston said they have had one minor injury to a firefighter, but no burn injuries.

12:15 p.m. Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin made a plea to community members to evacuate if their neighborhood is included in the mandatory evacuation area and to avoid sharing information that hasn't been confirmed by the sheriff's office.

During Friday's 11 a.m. press conference, the Sheriff immediately addressed rumors about mandatory evacuations for Granby, which he said were not true. While all other evacuations remain in place, particularly the northern part of Grand County, Granby remains under pre-evacuation.

Schroetlin said some people have chosen not to follow the mandatory evacuation orders, which is impacting his crews' ability to get into the areas of concern. He also said the people who have chosen not to leave are going around neighborhoods, taking pictures and sharing information, which is leading to inaccurate information getting out to the community.

The sheriff said he wished people in the mandatory evacuation area would heed their warning to leave, but he cannot force them out if they stay inside their homes. If they find people out wandering in the mandatory evacuation area, they are allowed to escort them out.

Schroetlin said he could not confirm the amount or extent of damage to structures because of how large the area is and the fact that their crews can't get in to some of the potentially impacted areas. He also could not confirm if anyone has been hurt or killed as a result of the fire. He said they have a list of people who need to be accounted for, but it's a small number that is constantly changing as they learn new information.

11:10 a.m. Crews saw significant growth of the East Troublesome Fire again on Thursday, including the new spot fire on the east side of the continental divide, according to Noel Livingston, incident commander.

The main concerns have been the evacuations of Estes Park, though a cold front has helped contain the fire on the east side of the divide. Another main area of concern remains Grand Lake, Granby and Hot Sulpher Springs, where there was active spread Thursday due to high issues.

11 a.m. Officials are giving an update on the East Troublesome Fire. Watch live here:

Two Americas: Race, Culture and Conflict

8:30 a.m. The East Troublesome Fire is now 170,163 acres and remains 5% contained.

8 a.m. Noel Livingston, fire incident commander with the East Troublesome Fire, provided an update on the East Troublesome Fire and officials plans on Friday morning.

He said the fire grew mostly on its northern flank, moving east. This included a spot fire that crossed the Continental Divide and is now currently burning near Blue Mountain. This fire triggered the Estes Park evacuations, Livingston said.

As the cold front moved in Thursday, the east side of the fire — particularly the spot fire— saw increased humidity and cooler temperatures, which slowed the fire's growth. That didn't happen on the western side of the divide, he said.

The fire remained active along its entire southeastern section and crews were busy all day protecting structures. This will remain the primary concern on Friday.

He said there was a change in zones of the fire Thursday: The Granby zone of the fire is the main blaze, while the Estes zone is the spot fire that's on the east side of the Continental Divide. As of now, the latter is being managed by Cameron Peak Fire resources.

Livingston said Friday will be another active fire day at the East Troublesome Fire with wind, sun and a little higher humidity, but not enough to help much. However, more help will arrive today, particularly structure protection resources. Crews are also receiving help from the National Guard.

7:40 a.m. | Friday Gov. Jared Polis has planned a visit to Grand County and Larimer County Friday.

He will meet with evacuees around 9 a.m. and then will discuss air support with experts. He will receive a briefing on the fire at 1 p.m.

At 4 p.m., he will provide a public update on the state's response to the wildfires.

Thursday, Oct. 22

8:02 p.m. | Thursday Bergen Peak, Georgetown and Mount Evans State Wildlife Areas will close indefinitely.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is closing the Bergen Peak, Georgetown and Mount Evans State Wildlife Areas to all public access indefinitely due to concerns over expanding fires and extreme fire condition.

Hunters holding second season rifle licenses in game management unit 39 may request a refund and reinstatement of preference points (+1) used to draw the license, CPW says.

For a full list of hunting licenses being offered refunds due to public land closures with the extreme fire conditions, please click here.

7:55 p.m. The Evacuation Center at Headwaters in Winter Park/Fraser has moved to an on-call status for the night. They will reopen at 8 a.m. should you need assistance, the Grand County Office of Emergency Management says.

6:47 p.m. Motorists are urged to avoid mountain travel to the high country due to fire dangers.

If you were planning on traveling to the high country this weekend, don't: That's the advise from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) as several wildfires continue to rage in northern Colorado, Grand County and Estes Park.

"While colder weather and expected snow will help in firefighting efforts later this weekend, the fire dangers are expected to remain high."

Commutes early next week are likely to be affected, CDOT said.

For the latest conditions on state roadways, check https://www.cotrip.org/home.htm

6:05 p.m. The East Troublesome Fire is now the second-largest in state history behind the Cameron Peak Fire.

Incident Commander Noel Livingston, with the Pacific Northwest Team 3, said the fire was estimated at 170,000 acres as of about 4:30 p.m. Thursday and said the fire had grown approximately 50,000 acres on Thursday after Wednesday’s 100,000-acre run.

Full news conference: Grand county officials provide update on East Troublesome Fire for Thursday, Oct. 22 at 6 p.m.

The fire was 5% contained as of 6 p.m. Thursday, with the containment line on the southwest portion of the fire. Winds out of the west and northwest continue to push the fire eastward and southeast toward the town of Granby, Livingston said.

He said he was cautiously optimistic that crews would be able to keep the fire from reaching the town, as fuels are lighter in the valley and winds will hopefully mellow with the cold front that arrived Thursday afternoon.

Structure protection crews are working near the marina and up toward Grand Lake to prepare structures in what Livingston had been the most problematic area for firefighters on Thursday because of the winds.

Livingston said that the fire that spotted on the east side of the Continental Divide, on Mount Wuh, was still burning Thursday afternoon. It led to mandatory and voluntary evacuations throughout the Estes Park area Thursday.

But he said that the cold front had helped tamp down fire conditions on the east side of the divide and that as of 5:30 p.m. the fire was not actively burning down toward Estes Park.

“So, that’s a relief,” Livingston said.

On the northwestern side of the fire, it burned up toward Haystack Mountain near the Jackson County line, Livingston said.

Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin said that Thursday was “not as bad as yesterday, thank God.”

Schroetlin said that he and everyone else in the area want to know the status of whether their homes burned but said that assessing damage will still take some time.

“I understand everyone wants to know. It’s hard; it’s terrifying; but we have to allow these firefighters to get in there. There is so much smoke and active fire in there right now, I can’t put my deputies in there,” Schroetlin said.

He said the county would be setting up a hotline in the next 24 hours to let residents call in and leave their information so county officials can build a database for structure notifications.

“My biggest fear is to tell someone their house isn’t there when their house really is,” Schroetlin said.

The sheriff said there were currently around five people who were unaccounted for and pushed people to sign up with evacuee forms on the county’s website.

Livingston said that he, as of the moment, does not see the fire joining with the Cameron Peak Fire, which was not out of the realm of possibilities earlier in the day when the fire spotted on Mt. Wuh.

He said that he and firefighters expect dry conditions to persist through Saturday, with cooler weather and better relative humidity, before the snowstorm expected to hit much of the state moves in Saturday night and Sunday morning.

The state's 10 largest wildfires in history, ranked by acreage, are:
1. Cameron Peak Fire (2020): 206,977 acres
2. East Troublesome Fire (2020): 170,000 acres
3. Pine Gulch Fire (2020): 139,007 acres
4. Hayman Fire (2002): 137,760 acres
5. Spring Fire (2018): 108,045 acres
6. High Park Fire (2012): 87,284 acres
7. Missionary Ridge Fire (2002): 72,962 acres
8. 416 Fire (2018): 54,000 acres
9. Bridger Fire (2008): 45,800 acres
10. Last Chance Fire (2012): 45,000 acres
Note: The Rocky Mountain Area Coordination Center said the West Fork Complex fire, which burned a total of 109,632 acres in 2013, is not included on this list since it involved three separate fires.

5:30 p.m. East Troublesome Fire officials are providing an update on the fire now. Watch live in the player below.

5:27 p.m. Here are the latest reports from the Denver7 crews on the ground on what residents in Grand County and Estes Park are dealing with because of the quick-moving East Troublesome Fire.

Much of Estes Park evacuated Thursday as East Troublesome Fire expands east over Continental Divide
Granby residents say they hope for the best after East Troublesome Fire threatens town

4:59 p.m. Charity Baxter, the general manager of the Grand Lake Lodge, told Denver7 on Thursday afternoon the lodge was still standing and that they were remaining hopeful about fire conditions in the area.

4:06 p.m. The U.S. Forest Service said that extreme fire activity was ongoing as of 4 p.m. on the East Troublesome Fire and said the fire was moving northeast toward Mt. Wuh after crossing the Continental Divide.

Near Highway 40 on the southeastern side of the fire, firefighters completed a burn operation between the highway and the main fire. Granby remains on pre-evacuation notice.

3:42 p.m. Fire officials ordered the eastern side of Estes Park – with a northern border of Devils Gulch Road, western border of MacGregor Ave., southern border of Pierson Mountain, and eastern borders of Highway 34 and 36 – to voluntarily evacuated because of the East Troublesome Fire.

Additionally, voluntary evacuation notices were issued for Highway 7 from Lily Lake to the Larimer County Line.

3:12 p.m. Fire officials have placed the eastern side of Estes Park – with a northern border of Devils Gulch Road, western border of MacGregor Ave., southern border of Pierson Mountain, and eastern borders of Highway 34 and 36 – under voluntary evacuation notices.

2:54 p.m. Fire officials have now upgraded several areas of Estes Park to mandatory evacuations because of the East Troublesome Fire. The areas that had been on voluntary evacuation orders are now on mandatory evacuation orders.

The area includes the northern boundary at Peak View Road, western boundary at Marys Lake Road and south and east boundaries at Fish Creek road.

Also now under mandatory evacuations are the area with the northern boundary at North St. Vrain Ave., the western border at Curry Drive, the southern border at Acacia Drive and the eastern border at Fish Creek Road.

People with questions can call 970-980-2500. Evacuees can text TFIRE to 888777 for updates.

2:30 p.m. The East Troublesome Fire on Thursday afternoon remained almost six times as large as it was around 6 p.m. Wednesday, reaching more than 125,000 acres and forcing evacuations in and around Grand Lake and Estes Park, as well as a total closure of Rocky Mountain National Park.

The fire was estimated at 19,086 acres and 10% contained Wednesday evening. By Thursday morning, officials announced the most updated acreage of 125,602 acres, with 5% containment. Much of this growth is due to the weather, terrain and beetle-kill lodgepole pine, according to the incident management team.

"We planned for the worst," Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin said Thursday. "This is the worst of the worst of the worst."

The fire began on the west side of the Continental Divide, but officials confirmed the fire, by Thursday afternoon, had jumped to the east side of the divide, and areas of Estes Park were under evacuation orders.


Cameron Peak Fire

InciWeb | Facebook

Evacuation Map

Monday, Oct. 26

10:14 a.m. | Snowfall at Cameron Peak Fire is a 'huge plus for all of the firefighters,' officials say

The snow that is falling over the Cameron Peak Fire has paused its growth, but it won't extinguish the blaze, fire officials said.

A winter storm dropped several inches of snow around the entire fire on Sunday and Monday. Operations Section Chief Paul Delmerico said this was a "huge plus for all of the firefighters who have been engaged for the past 76 days." Exact snow accumulation varied, but higher elevations received as much as 18 inches of snow. The Thompson Zone of the fire, which is the spot fire to the east of the East Troublesome Fire, also received about 18 inches of snow.

Fire managers said they didn't see any growth at the fire on Sunday, and don't expect any on Monday.

Read the full story here.

Saturday, Oct. 24

1:39 p.m. Snow is already starting to fall near Bellaire Lakes in the Cameron Peak Fire area.

10:52 a.m. Cameron Peak Fire officials have lifted evacuations for the following areas: All of Redstone Canyon and Otter Road, Highway 14 from Kelly Flats to the Larimer/Jackson County line, Highway 14 north to County Road 86, County Road 103 north to the Tunnel Campground, and Old Roach (from the Mullen Fire)

10:43 a.m. The 207,464-acre fire is 60% contained. After a two-month closure, Colorado Highway 14 has reopened between north of Fort Collins and Walden due to diminished fire activity in the area.

Friday, Oct. 23

4:52 p.m. Poudre Valley REA has restored power to the Cedar Park area as well as the CSU Mountain Campus at Pingree Park.

12:19 p.m. We have a new updated story today on the Cameron Peak Fire.

Crews were able to add more containment lines on the Cameron Peak Fire on Thursday but were preparing for strong winds Friday ahead of likely heavy snow this weekend.

Firefighters will focus on structure protection and reinforcing firelines. The fire was at 206,977 acres and 57% contained, up from 55% containment Thursday, according to Friday morning's update.

The fire did not grow in size from Thursday to Friday.

8:02 p.m. Bergen Peak, Georgetown and Mount Evans State Wildlife Areas to close indefinitely

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is closing the Bergen Peak, Georgetown and Mount Evans State Wildlife Areas to all public access indefinitely due to concerns over expanding fires and extreme fire condition.

Hunters holding second season rifle licenses in game management unit 39 may request a refund and reinstatement of preference points (+1) used to draw the license, CPW says.

For a full list of hunting licenses being offered refunds due to public land closures with the extreme fire conditions, please click here.

6:47 p.m. Motorists are urged to avoid mountain travel to the high country due to fire dangers

If you were planning on traveling to the high country this weekend, don't: That's the advise from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) as several wildfires continue to rage in northern Colorado, Grand County and Estes Park.

"While colder weather and expected snow will help in firefighting efforts later this weekend, the fire dangers are expected to remain high."

Commutes early next week are likely to be affected, CDOT said.

For the latest conditions on state roadways, check https://www.cotrip.org/home.htm

4:05 p.m. Cameron Peak Fire officials said fire activity remained mostly unchanged from Thursday morning and said crews “continue to make progress on containment lines.”

3:42 p.m. The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office downgraded mandatory evacuations for the Cameron Peak Fire to voluntary evacuations for people living on the east side of CR 25E in Redstone Canyon and for the area from CR 29 east to CR 27.

2:40 p.m. Cameron Peak Fire officials have lifted evacuations for several areas in Larimer County:

• Pinewood Reservoir to Flatiron Reservoir
• Glade Road on both the north and south sides of Mildred Lane to the Devils Backbone and south to Highway 34
• Masonville area south of County Road 38E from the east side of County Road 27 south to Highway 34
• Horsetooth Mountain Park east to Rim Rock Valley Lane
• County Road 52E from just east of County Road 27 to County Road 27E

Residents in those areas may return home, officials said.

2:35 p.m. The largest fire in Colorado history, which has been burning for more than two months in Larimer County, is 55% contained, according to the latest available information Thursday.

As of the latest available information, the Cameron Peak Fire is 206,977 acres.

Helicopters were able to slow the fire's progression with water and retardant drops on Wednesday, according to the Rocky Mountain Type 1 Incident Management Team. Meanwhile, crews on the ground continued their work constructing and reinforcing control lines on the fire's southern edge and setting up protections for structures in The Retreat and Storm Mountain communities.


Calwood and Lefthand Canyon fires

Calwood InciWeb | Lefthand Canyon InciWeb

Saturday, Oct. 24

9:57 a.m. Containment of the CalWood Fire increased to 66% on Friday as most of the fire area experienced minimal activity through the day. Some heat and smoke were observed around both fires, but all containment lines held. Crews were able to increase containment and continue strengthening lines along the southern edge of the fire.

Friday, Oct. 23

2:27 p.m. More roads are opening back up for residents impacted by the Calwood and Lefthand Canyon fires.

Boulder County Sheriff's Office Division Chief Mike Wagner said the following areas are open:

  • Lefthand Canyon Drive from Lickskillet Road to Sawmill Road
  • Lefthand Canyon Drive and James Canyon Drive
  • County roads 87 and 87J, residents only
  • Mountain Ridge, Foothills Ranch Road and Lake of the Pines subdivisions, residents only

Wagner said there's no longer a sunset provision that requires residents to leave by 6 p.m., so residents in these areas can return home and stay home. He reminds everyone in the area to maintain awareness, though they don't expect the need to evacuate again.

The following remain closed:

  • South St. Vrain Highway (Highway 7) between Old South St. Vrain Road up to Spruce Drive
  • Eastbound Spring Gulch Road at Gold Lake Road (County Road 102)

There's still no traffic allowed up to Estes Park. View the closure map here.

10:12 a.m. The Boulder County Office of Emergency Management says all restrictions for residents in the Calwood and Lefthand Canyon fires evacuation areas have been lifted and that residents can return home.

Residents are asked to stay alert in the event conditions change and they need to evacuate again. People who have been evacuated can pick up clean-up kits at the North Boulder evacuation site at 1333 Iris Ave. until noon Friday.

The Lefthand Canyon Fire was 100% contained on Thursday evening, and firefighters will be mopping up on fire lines on that fire on Friday.

On the Calwood Fire, which is now 55% contained, crews on Thursday monitored the fire as it moved down South St. Vrain Canyon toward Highway 7 and continued work on containment lines.

Firefighters will continue mopping up lines around the fire’s edge and will continue to watch the fire in South St. Vrain Canyon.

Fire officials said behavior on the fire would be light-to-moderate throughout the day Friday

Temperatures are expected to remain in the 30s, with humidity above 50% on Friday. But humidity levels will decrease Friday night and Saturday, and wind gusts will increase to 20-30 miles per hour.

9:48 p.m. CalWood Fire now 10,073 acres in size, 55% contained

The Boulder Office of Emergency Management says firefighters were active on all sides of fire today. Crews worked east and west towards each other improving and mopping up containment lines on the south side of the fire. On the north edge of the fire, crews patrolled and mopped up lines that were accessible.

In the steeper terrain in the western end, crews monitored as the fire slowly worked its way down the canyon towards Highway 7, the Boulder OEM says.

9:45 p.m. Lefhand Canyon Fire 100% contained

The Boulder Office of Emergency Management says the Lefthand Canyon Fire is now 100% contained after firefighters worked throughout the day to finish mopping up and patrolling containment lines. Firefighters will be assigned to patrol the fire in the coming days. The fire is 460 acres in size.

8:02 p.m. Bergen Peak, Georgetown and Mount Evans State Wildlife Areas to close indefinitely

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is closing the Bergen Peak, Georgetown and Mount Evans State Wildlife Areas to all public access indefinitely due to concerns over expanding fires and extreme fire condition.

Hunters holding second season rifle licenses in game management unit 39 may request a refund and reinstatement of preference points (+1) used to draw the license, CPW says.

For a full list of hunting licenses being offered refunds due to public land closures with the extreme fire conditions, please click here.

6:47 p.m. Motorists are urged to avoid mountain travel to the high country due to fire dangers

If you were planning on traveling to the high country this weekend, don't: That's the advise from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) as several wildfires continue to rage in northern Colorado, Grand County and Estes Park.

"While colder weather and expected snow will help in firefighting efforts later this weekend, the fire dangers are expected to remain high."

Commutes early next week are likely to be affected, CDOT said.

For the latest conditions on state roadways, check https://www.cotrip.org/home.htm

3 p.m. The Lefthand Canyon fire burning near Ward is currently at 460 acres with 43% containment. The Calwood Fire near Jamestown is 24% contained and 10,073 acres in size as of Thursday morning. Calwood Fire started on Oct. 17 and Lefthand Canyon Fire one day later.

The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office has evacuation orders and warnings for:

· Mountain Ridge subdivision, Foothills Ranch Road and Lake of the Pines by 6 p.m. Thursday
· Lyons Park Estates

Mountain Ridge and Lake of the Pines subdivision are opened on a limited basis to residents until 6 p.m. to grab essential items, assess any potential damage and winterize the home, if necessary. All residents in the area will need to re-evacuate by 6 p.m.

Thursday afternoon, the sheriff’s office opened Highway 36 between Boulder and Lyons. There is no longer an evacuation for Crest View Estates. Lefthand Canyon is closed west of Highway 36 and north of Foothills Highway. Traffic is now stopped northbound to Estes Park from Lyons as well as through the South St. Vrain, which also remains closed. Highway 7 is also stopped on the north side of Allens Park at North County Line Road up by Meeker Park.

Traffic is also not moving north on Highway 36 and west from Apple Valley Road into Estes Park.

The U.S. Forest Service has a temporary closure in place for all activities on Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests lands in Clear Creek, Jefferson, Gilpin, Boulder and Larimer counties. Boulder County Parks and Open Space closed multiple properties to public use on Wednesday.

So far, 26 structures have been lost as a result of the Calwood Fire. Weather conditions Thursday are favorable for making progress on both fires with humidity rising to 60-70% and temperatures falling through the afternoon, eventually dropping to below freezing after sunset.

Williams Fork Fire

InciWeb | Facebook

Saturday, Oct. 24

11:14 a.m. Yesterday, two engines continued to monitor the fire perimeter and began taking inventory on pumps and hoses still out on the ground. Helicopters were able to fly and drop water on several hot areas yesterday morning. Today, a crew and two engines will continue monitor the fire area and will begin to return equipment, including pumps and hoses to the cache, making them available for use on other fire areas. Aviation assets will be available to support with both water and retardant as needed.

Ice Fire

Ice Fire InciWeb | Facebook

10:08 a.m. | With a push of wintry weather, Ice Fire near Silverton is now 90% contained

Thanks to a wintry push from Mother Nature, the Ice Fire near Silverton is now 90% contained, fire officials announced Monday morning.

Officials said the probability that the fire will expand beyond its current size of 596 acres is low.

The Ice Lakes were not impacted by the fire, but the trail to them was heavily damaged. Fire officials said the trails will remain closed until further notice.

Ice Fire_October 2020 2

No evacuations were ordered in connection to this fire.

The fire sparked on Oct. 19 about five miles west of Silverton. The cause is unknown and under investigation.

Jim Donovan, the emergency manager for San Juan County, encouraged residents to sign up for Nixle, the public alerting system. To sign up, text 81433 to 888777.


The Ice Fire was sparked Oct. 19 and has charred 596 acres in the San Juan National Forest in southwest Colorado. It's 45% contained at last check. Firefighters said they are cautiously optimistic the fire will remain in its current footprint until the expected moisture arrives tomorrow.

Grizzly Creek Fire

Grizzly Creek InciWeb | Facebook

The Grizzly Creek Fire burning near Glenwood Springs since Aug. 10 grew by approximately 150 acres between the west side of Grizzly Creek drainage and No Name drainage.

Spot fires also occurred on the east side of the upper Grizzly Creek drainage and ground crews are working to contain these spots, according to Grizzly Creek fire officials. Additional resources were called in to help including multiple air tankers, helicopters and ground crews. Another crew will also arrive Saturday.

The fire is 32,631 acres and 91% contained.

“Fire behavior today has not showed much growth in acres, mostly some isolated torching,” Incident Commander Dan Nielsen said. “Please respect the area closure of the fire perimeter and remember the White River National Forest and BLM in this area are in Stage 1 fire restrictions.”

Anyone in the area hunting, camping or recreating in the area should be aware of the changing fire behavior, respect the closure area and follow Stage 1 fire restrictions which prohibit campfires outside of designated fire rings.

The plan for additional resources to staff the fire will continue to evolve depending on precipitation from this weekend’s predicted snow fall.