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New mandatory evacuations ordered for areas surrounding Cameron Peak Fire

Smoke from fire makes for unhealthy air quality in Denver
cameron peak fire sept 5 2020
Posted at 7:46 PM, Sep 05, 2020

LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. – New mandatory evacuations were issued Saturday evening for areas close to the Cameron Peak Fire as fire activity grew quickly, putting off smoke and ash across Larimer County.

The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office issued mandatory evacuation orders for several areas Saturday evening. Pingree Park Road from Highway 14 south to near the CSU Mountain Campus was ordered to be evacuated just after 5:30 p.m.

Just before 6 p.m., mandatory evacuation notices were issued for people along Highway 14 from the Fish Hatchery east to Kelly Flats for what the sheriff’s office said was “immediate and imminent danger” in an alert. Click here for an evacuation map, which is also embedded below.

Country Road 44H from Pennock Pass east toward County Road 27 have been evacuated, as well as people living south along CR 44H.

There are voluntary evacuation orders in place for the Crystal Lakes, Red Feather Lakes and Goodall Corner areas, as well as for the areas east of Pingree Park Road to Stove Prairie Road, the sheriff’s office said. For more Larimer County resources, click here.

On Sunday, fire officials issued new voluntary evacuations for residents and business occupants in the following areas: County Road 74E east from Red Feather to include the Shambhala Center, Lady Moon, and Glacier View filings up to and including Hewlett Gulch Road, located west of mile marker 10.

Red Cross is offering assistance to those impacted by the fire. They are available Sunday at Cache La Poudre Middle School, 3515 W. County Road 54G in Laporte.

New areas of Roosevelt National Forest closed around 11 p.m. Sunday, including all National Forest System lands west of the National Forest boundary, east of the Colorado State Forest State Park, south of County Road 80 C, and north of Rocky Mountain Park and Highway 34.

Because of Red Flag Warnings, critical fire weather conditions and active fire behavior on the Cameron Peak Fire, Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park will close at 3 pm Sunday due to the potential of heavy smoke on the road and low visibility. Closures on Trail Ridge Road will be at Forest Canyon Overlook on the east side and Colorado River Trailhead on the west side.

The fire was 34,289 acres as of Sunday morning and 5% contained, with 840 personnel working it.

Fire officials said earlier in the day said they expected active fire behavior and higher winds Saturday and Sunday before the cold front moves in late Monday.

Air Quality Alert

Smoke from the Cameron Peak Fire and other fires in the area moved into the Denver metro area, prompting an air quality alert. If you have respiratory issues or sensitivity to air quality, you're advised to stay indoors.

Cheryl Glanz, president of the Cache La Poudre - North Park Scenic Byway Council, took a trip up Poudre Canyon Sunday to see the impact of the Cameron Peak Fire first hand.

Glanz said firefighters were able to save most of the Chamber's Lake Campground, and that some wildlife did not it out of the fire zone.

She said many people in the urban corridor are being impacted by smoke.

"We noticed the (smoke) plume itself just growing and the sun just went blood red and a lot of darkness," she said. "It looked like a storm cloud, and then the ash. You could see it falling on everything."

Longmont resident Carri Globensky said there is a lot of thick smoke settling in over the Front Range.

"You can smell it," she said. "It's just horrible."

A period of unhealthy Air Quality Index (AQI) is likely for the remainder of Sunday and into the overnight for areas southeast of the fire, including Poudre Canyon, along/north of Hwy 34/66 near Estes Park, Loveland, Longmont, into Boulder-Denver, and perhaps even further south.

In addition, smoke from other western wildfires is moving into the region causing elevated air quality values. Monday morning will likely see smoke impacts within Poudre Canyon and throughout the front range with Cameron Peak and other wildfire smoke impacting the area.

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