Kruger Rock Fire area is under a Red Flag Warning for critical fire danger Thursday

Kruger Rock Fire sign Nov 18 2021
Posted at 7:01 AM, Nov 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-18 19:54:20-05

LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. — A shift in weather Thursday is stirring up concerns at the Kruger Rock Fire near Estes Park, and firefighters are prepared for a windy end to the week.

Fire danger in Larimer County will increase Thursday, with a Red Flag Warning in effect from 10 a.m. today to 5 a.m. Friday, according to the National Weather Service. This warning also covers other areas of the Front Range and foothills, including Boulder County, Gilpin County, Clear Creek County, west Douglas County and northeast Park County.

West winds will increase Thursday — starting around 10 to 20 mph— and will become stronger by the evening with gusts up to 40 mph, NWS said. Humidity will stay as low as 6%.

NWS said extreme fire behavior and spread is possible.

Thursday's dry and windy conditions will persist in the foothills overnight into Friday morning, when things will start to calm down a bit. However, Friday is still expected to stay dry and windy, NWS said.

As of 5 p.m. Thursday, the Kruger Rock Fire had burned 146 acres and was 60% contained. It grew just 12 acres since 6:40 p.m. the night prior. The fire started around 7 a.m. Tuesday after high winds blew a tree onto a nearby power line, according to the Larimer County Sheriff's Office.

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Early Thursday, a Denver7 crew at the scene could not see any lingering smoke over the fire.

Several evacuations were lifted on Wednesday and residents were allowed to return to their homes. Other mandatory evacuations from Tuesday remain unchanged.

The map below shows mandatory evacuations in red and voluntary evacuations in yellow. (You can zoom in by double clicking.)

Highway 36, which closed Tuesday, has reopened.

For emergency updates on this fire, text LCEVAC to 888777, or call 970-980-2500.

The Joint Information Center for the fire is closed, the sheriff's office said.