Firefighters see relief with cooler weather at Cameron Peak Fire after containment decreases to 21%

Posted at 11:56 AM, Sep 28, 2020

LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. — Cooler temperatures and moisture helped fire crews gain ground on the Cameron Peak Fire that swelled over the weekend, officials said.

Crews worked overnight Sunday into Monday to gain control of the two northern fingers of the fire as well as further advances on the southern side.

Hot, dry and windy weather conditions prompted a red flag warning and new evacuations Friday and Saturday. The fire grew to 124,026 acres and is now only 21% contained after the increased fire activity.

The fire reached the Shambhala Mountain Center, a Buddhist meditation retreat in the Red Feather Lakes area. According to a Facebook post from the center, the fire reached their property Saturday. The center reported a few buildings burned, but many remained intact. The center set up a relief fund that's raised more than $33,000 as of Monday morning.

Firefighters planned to take advantage of the cooler temperatures and decreased winds Monday to continue securing the perimeter of the fire. Mandatory evacuations remain in place for all Glacier View filings, Red Feather Highlands subdivision and the Lady Moon area. Voluntary evacuations remain for the Buckhorn Road area from Pennock pass to County Road 27.

The Cameron Peak Fire's cause remains undetermined. It started on Aug. 13 and has grown to Colorado's third largest wildfire on record.

The largest wildfires in Colorado history, by acres, are:
1. Pine Gulch Fire (2020): 139,007 acres
2. Hayman Fire (2002): 137,760 acres
3. Cameron Peak fire (2020): 124,026 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.