UPDATE (10:55 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 22): The Cameron Peak Fire burning in western Larimer County grew to 17,246 acres as of Saturday morning, with 0% containment and more hot and dry weather in the forecast this weekend. Officials said they have an estimated 5 to 7 days of work ahead of them, with hand crews and heavy equipment building lines between Laramie River Road and Crystal Lakes. Click here to read the latest.
LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. — The Cameron Peak Fire in Larimer County grew only about 150 acres Thursday and overnight into Friday thanks to favorable weather, according to the Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team.
The fire, which was estimated at 16,460 acres Thursday morning, is now 16,602 acres, the team reported Friday morning.
It is 0% contained. No structures have been damaged in the fire, and there have been no reported injuries, the team said.
A small amount of rain Thursday helped firefighters on the southwest region of the fire around Cameron Pass and Long Draw Road. Meanwhile, it burned to timberline in areas of the Rawah Wilderness to the west.
Fire managers will monitor that area Friday to ensure it won't continue burning into high alpine vegetation, the incident management team said.
Weather Friday is comparable to the past few days — hot, dry and with winds 10 to 15 mph, with gusts up to 20 mph.
The focus Friday will remain on widening road corridors working from west to east from the 103 Road to Crystal Lakes and Red Feather Lakes, the incident management team said.
Preparations are mostly complete along the Manhattan Road. Crews are continuing to clear vegetation around the Pingree Park area.
The fire grew south of Highway 14 on Friday afternoon, officials said.
The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office issued new mandatory evacuations for the Cameron Peak Fire for residents and businesses in the Crown Point, Pingree Park Road, and CR 44H areas, including Pennock Pass east to County Road 27.
“Evacuate the area immediately and as quickly as possible. Do not delay leaving to gather belongings or make efforts to protect your home or business. Evacuating immediately not only supports your safety, but also allows emergency crews better access to the area,” the sheriff’s office said in the emergency alert.
People can receive updates by texting LCEVAC to 888777.
The fire started Aug. 13 in the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests near Cameron Pass and Chambers Lake.
Law enforcement is still investigating the cause of the fire and is asking for any photos the public may have from the trails located south of Cameron Peak, especially photos taken of active fire adjacent to any trails. Share those photos with SM.FS.email@example.com and call 307-745-2392, option 5, if you have any other information about how the fire started.
The U.S Forest Service closed areas of the Roosevelt National Forest on Thursday afternoon, including National Forest lands west of County Roads 67J, 69, 63E and 27, east of the Colorado State Forest State Park, south of County Road 80 C and north of Rocky Mountain National Park and County Road 44H. These closures affect Chambers Lake, Indian Meadows, Eggers and Creedmore Lake, Bellaire Lake, Bennett Creek, Cameron Pass, Fish Creek and Tunnel, along with several campgrounds.
“This closure is in place for public safety and to support firefighting efforts," the Forest Service said. "These areas are very popular with recreationists but also often very remote. Roads and trails in this area are greatly interconnected. If evacuations are necessary, it can be difficult to reach people and can take emergency responders a great deal of time to make sure everyone is out safely."
On Tuesday afternoon, Rocky Mountain National Park put in place temporary closures in the northwestern area of the park out of an abundance of caution because the fire is burning about four miles from the park’s northwest edge. Among the closures are Mummy Pass Trail, Comanche Peak Trail, Mirror Lake Trail, Poudre River Trail, Crater Trail, Colorado River Trail, Red Mountain Trail, Grand Ditch Access, Skeleton Gulch Trail, Thunder Pass Trail, Little Yellowstone Trail, Holzwarth Historic Site beyond the historic site, Cascade Creek, Cache La Poudre, South Cache La Poudre, Hague Creek and Mosquito Creek.
In addition, Colorado Highway 14 is closed from Rustic to Gould.
Cameron Peak Fire officials said they are issuing credentials for residents and property owners for Red Feather Lakes, Crystal Lakes, Rustic, the Pingree Hill area and people who have already evacuated.
Residents of those areas can stop by the following locations Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. to pick up credentials:
- Red Feather Lakes Community Center at 58 Fire House Lane, Red Feather Lakes
- Crystal Lake Base Camp at 300 Tami Road, Red Feather Lakes
- Stove Prairie Elementary School at 3891 Stove Prairie Road, Bellvue
Click here for more information on what you’ll need to bring.
The following areas are under evacuation orders: Long Draw Road, Long Draw Reservoir area, Deadman Road between County Roads 103 and 73C, Manhattan Road between Rustic and Boy Scout Ranch Road, and Pingree Park south and west of Crown Point.
People who have to evacuate can text LCEVAC to 888777 for updates. More information on evacuations, road closures and emergency alerts can be found here.
The Cameron Peak Fire is one of four major fires currently burning in Colorado. Click here for more Denver7 coverage of the wildfires.