Wildfires All Around Us! [VIDEOS]
I don't know about you but I've been feeling the smoke in my eyes and lungs here lately, Saturday and parts of Sunday were particularly thick. The fact of the matter is it's dry...really dry around here and that means wildfire danger! We have a couple in the State of Wyoming now(Guernsey Fire and the Cow Camp Fire), and a great big one(High Park Fire) just over the border south of us in The Fort Collins area. New Mexico is also fighting the biggest wildfire in their history (Whitewater-Baldy Fire) and several smaller fires as well!
The bottom line is, we have to be extra careful with any source of ignition! Right now it is possible to start a fire very quickly...a tossed cigarette or match, camp fires not put out well enough, a car with too much grass or brush underneath it too close to the catalytic converter...and that's just a few!
I grabbed a video yesterday near the fire and several more off of the web to be posted here, I hope it shows the true scope of what's going on because these are literally monsters right now! We may need some Divine intervention as well, so if you're inclined say a few prayers and lets hope that the fire fighters can get these under control SOON!
The High Park Fire is now at 36,930 acres and growing significantly, with zero percent containment. Larimer County says 400 personnel are fighting the blaze.
According to Larimer County, flames lept 15 to 20 feet in the air, with some flames shooting 300 feet into the sky. Very dry brush, timber and grasses are providing the fuel for this fire.
What Larimer County is calling a "very aggressive" and "hard to fight" fire is growing at 20 to 40 feet a minute.
Larimer County officials say the lower temperatures, higher humidity levels and lower winds should help fire personnel to fight the fire. A number of air resources are battling the blaze, including five heavy-air tankers, five single-engine tankers and a few helicopters. Larimer County says two National Guard Black Hawks have been ordered, but only one is currently on the scene.
As of Sunday, 325 evacuation order notifications were issued for the area south of County Road 38E from Gindler Ranch Road west to Milner Ranch Road. The High Park Fire is moving rapidly in this direction. 325 were sent out.
The following evacuation orders were sent out earlier Sunday:
- Just after 5 p.m. Sunday afternoon Larimer County sent out 24 new evacuation notifications to homes along Crystal Mountain Road and Upper Buckhorn Road.
- Larimer County sent out 326 additional evacuation orders for the area north of county road 38E from Horsetooth Reservior to Redstone Canyon to Lory State Park.
- Larimer County also sent out 69 evacuation notifications for Buckhorn Road, from CR27 to Pennock Pass, and residents approximately one mile to the south. Buckhorn evacuees should exit the area by going east on Buckhorn Road.
- Evacuation orders were also issued for the Bonner Peaks Subdivision Residents, who will need to exit the area using Owl Canyon Road.
- Evacuations were also ordered for County Road 29C and McMurray Ranch Road residents.
- More than 2,000 emergency notifications were sent out Saturday and Sunday.
- Evacuation notices were sent to the areas south and west of Bellvue, including the Lory State Park area, Redstone Canyon and Buckhorn Road to the Stove Prairie School.
- Earlier Sunday morning, residents from County Road 27E to Bellevue were notified that they were being evacuated.
- Late Saturday night, 177 notifications were sent for Poudre Canyon from mile marker 111 to mile marker 118 on Highway 14. The Poudre Canyon from Ted's Place to Stove Prairie Road is under a mandatory evacuation order.
- The following areas were also evacuated Saturday: Moose Horn Lane, Magic Lane and Spencer Mountain Road, Paradise Park Road and Stove Prairie Road, north to Rist Canyon Road, east to Spring Valley Road and south to include the Tip Top Road area.
- Old Flowers Road was evacuated from Stove Prairie Road to the 8000 block of Old Flowers.
According to Larimer County, many residents are refusing to evacuate. The county is keeping a record of who refused for public records.
The shelter set up at Cache La Poudre Middle School closed Sunday night due to smoke. The shelter has moved to The Ranch, along Interstate-25/Crossroads Boulevard, between Loveland and Fort Collins.
Large animals and livestock can be taken to The Ranch also. Small domestic animals can be taken to the Larimer County Humane Society.
"The community is here for you and the community really does care. So, thank you for those who care," Patricia Billinger, with the American Red Cross, said Monday.
One person is confirmed missing from a home destroyed by High Park Fire. They have not been identified by officials.
At least 18 structures were lost or damaged due to the fire with more threatened. Monday morning, Larimer County confirmed the structures were mostly lost in the following areas:
- Rist Canyon
- Stove Prairie to Old Flowers Road
- Paradise Park
- Poudre Canyon and Park
"It's pretty tough, people have lost their homes and everything they owned," Hickenlooper said. "Their world is very different than it was a day ago."
The High Park Fire was first spotted at around 6 a.m. Saturday. Crews had to hike through difficult terrain to first reach the area.
The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.
The Governor also spoke about the dry conditions in Colorado. He said there's a possibility of larger fire bans and restrictions for the Fourth of July holiday.