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'We're probably not going to sleep tonight': Estes Park residents anxious amid Kruger Rock Fire

As of 10 p.m. Tuesday night, `133 acres have burned
'We're probably not going to sleep tonight,': Estes Park residents anxious amid Kruger Rock fire
Posted at 11:49 PM, Nov 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-17 01:59:02-05

ESTES PARK, Colo. — Tuesday was scattered with misfortune after misfortune for the Estes Park community, leaving many residents with anxiety as the day unfolded from sunrise to nightfall.

"We've done this before with the 2014 floods. We've done this before with the Big Elk Fire. We've done this before time and time again. We're probably not going to sleep tonight," said Abby Wilson, an Estes Park resident.

On Tuesday morning, a 133-acre wildfire broke out near Kruger Rock in Larimer County.

Wilson recalled the moment the electricity went out inside her home.

"I was going to go take a shower but then the power went off, and it flicked off and on about three more times. I decided not to take a shower, and I was sitting in my bed watching this plume of smoke. At first, I thought it was a house fire," Wilson said.

Wilson soon realized she was looking at the beginnings of the Kruger Rock Fire.

"We got to get out was my first reaction. I woke everybody up in my house and I said, 'Get your stuff together. If this heads downhill, just depending on the wind, we got to move.'" Wilson said.

Alec Throne, a high school senior, recalled when he first saw the flames to the moment he evacuated.

"Just in the hour that I was at my house from where it started to when we left, I watched the fire spread from one little area to almost the whole ridgeline up there. And the winds are brutal and consistent up here in the winter, and it’s no different today. It could definitely take a turn for the worst,” he said. "It’s definitely a little scary. Everyone thought we got out safe this year after such a tough year last year, and now, it’s starting to look different."

Tuesday night, residents learned a single-engine tanker plane crashed while helping to fight the fire.

"It's been an awful day." a resident said through tears.