Firefighters preparing for high winds at the Cameron Peak Fire on Wednesday

Cameron Peak Fire_Oct 20 2020_by InciWeb
Posted at 8:28 AM, Oct 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-21 19:20:17-04

LARIMER COUNTY, Colo.. — Firefighters are prepared for a challenging day at the Cameron Peak Fire as the expected high winds could increase the fire's activity.

As of Wednesday morning, the fire is 206,009 acres and 52% contained. It grew about 1,000 acres since Tuesday morning.

The winds will also spread smoke around the area, fire officials said.

A Red Flag Warning goes into effect Wednesday at noon through Thursday at 8 a.m. Winds are expected to blow 40 to 50 mph around the fire, with gusts up to 60 mph.

Crews are preparing to secure sections of the perimeter on Wednesday, but priorities will remain the same: Firefighter and civilian safety first, followed by protection of structures and other values.

Late Tuesday, firefighters secured the fireline around Buckhorn Road, County Road 27, around Masonville, and around the spot fire near Otter Road. The spot fire is now almost completely contained.

The fire was active Wednesday around Storm Mountain, The Retreat, Glen Haven and Cedar Park. Helicopters weren't able to fly the fire above Storm Mountain and The Retreat on Tuesday due to high wind.

READ MORE: How to help those affected by Colorado's wildfires

Some resources were temporarily reassigned to the Boulder County wildfires, but have returned to the Cameron Peak Fire to help secure its southern edge.

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. You can also call 970-980-2500.

Voluntary evacuations for Lory State Park and the area east of Rim Rock Valley Lane to Lakeview Drive of the South Bay area of Horsetooth Reservoir were lifted on Wednesday afternoon.

The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office also downgraded from mandatory to voluntary evacuation statuses the area of Rist Canyon Road from CR27 east to CR27E. Only residents with proper identification will be allowed to re-enter.

For updates on evacuations and closures, text LCEVAC to 888777 from your cell phone.

A virtual pubic meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday on the fire's Facebook page.

The air quality is listed as moderate for Estes Park, Longmont and Boulder Wednesday and Thursday. Allenspark's air quality was ranked as unhealthy on Wednesday and unsafe for sensitive groups for Thursday. This area and the I-25 corridor communities closest to the fires and downwind will see the greatest impacts, according to the Interagency Wildland Fire Air Quality Response Program.

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 sparked on Aug. 13. It is the first wildfire in Colorado history to grow beyond 200,000 acres.

The state's 10 largest wildfires in history, ranked by acreage, are:
1. Cameron Peak Fire (2020): 205,005 acres
2. Pine Gulch Fire (2020): 139,007 acres
3. Hayman Fire (2002): 137,760 acres
4. Spring Fire (2018): 108,045 acres
5. High Park Fire (2012): 87,284 acres
6. Missionary Ridge Fire (2002): 72,962 acres
7. 416 Fire (2018): 54,000 acres
8. Bridger Fire (2008): 45,800 acres
9. Last Chance Fire (2012): 45,000 acres
10. Bear Springs/Callie Marie fires (2011): 44,662 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.

It has an estimated containment date of Nov. 8.

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.