Weather conditions keep Cameron Peak Fire at 102,596 acres as crews plan damage assessment

Cameron Peak Fire_Aug 15 2020
Posted at 10:31 AM, Sep 10, 2020

LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. — Crews on the Cameron Peak Fire on Thursday were planning to do damage assessment as the fire stayed steady at 102,596 acres burned and 4% contained.

The weather was expected to be slightly warmer Thursday, though there was a chance for snow showers later in the day and wind was expected to be light.

Fire activity was expected to be low due to the weather conditions Thursday. About 1,200 crewmembers are working the fire, up from about 300 a few days ago.

While the fire exploded in growth over the weekend, the change in weather brought as much as 14 inches of snow to the area on Tuesday.

The precipitation and colder weather gave crews a chance to take a more direct attack in fighting the fire, though wet snow made travel on the roads difficult Tuesday. The snow forced some areas of the fire to not hold as much heat, but more dense fuel areas are still holding heat, officials said.

Crews will be working Thursday to construct a control line, mop up around properties and continue protection efforts along Highway 14, Pingree Park Road and Buckhorn Road.

Mandatory and voluntary evacuations are still in place near the fire. Go here for a full list of the evacuation areas, along with road closures.

To sign up for emergency alerts in Larimer County, visit NOCO Alert's website here. For updates for people who have been forced to evacuate, text the word LCEVAC to 888777 from your cell phone.

On Thursday morning, outbreak data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment showed that 14 firefighters at the Cameron Peak Fire have tested positive for COVID-19.

The fire is now the fourth-largest in Colorado history – surpassing the High Park Fire that damaged hundreds of homes and killed one person in 2012 just east of where the Cameron Peak Fire is currently burning.

The state's 10 largest wildfires in history, ranked by acreage, are:

1. Pine Gulch Fire (2020): 139,007 acres

2. Hayman Fire (2002): 137,760 acres

3. Spring Fire (2018): 108,045 acres

4. Cameron Peak Fire (2020): 102,596 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 2013 West Fork Complex is not included on this list because it was a series of different fires close to one another.)

The fire ignited on Aug. 13 in the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests near Cameron Pass and Chambers Lake. Its cause is under investigation. Fire officials said the estimated containment date is Oct. 31.

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