Latest Updates: Cameron Peak Fire is 3rd largest wildfire in Colorado history

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LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — The Cameron Peak Fire has been burning in the wilderness west of Fort Collins since Aug. 13. The fire has forced the evacuations of several nearby campgrounds and communities. Click here for updates from the US Forest Service.

UPDATE (Sept. 26, 8:00 p.m.): Planning Operations Trainee Cory Carlson said the fire is now at 120,251 acres.

Carlson said the fire made a significant run across Manhattan Road and along the Hwy 14 corridor. He said there was a successful burnout in the Rustic area.

Crews battled all day long to keep the fire from becoming worse than it could have been, Carlson said.

Carlson said there was an impact on the Shambala area but did not have a report. The fire stayed south of Red Feather and with sustained winds of 55 mph, Carlson said it was a fairly successful day.

The Red Cross evacuation center is located at: La Porte-Cache Poudre Middle School Gymnasium, 3515 Co Road 54G, Laporte.

FOX31’s Rachel Skytta was on scene with video (above) of the efforts being made. ⬆️

UPDATE (Sept. 26, 2:51 p.m.): RMACC says the Cameron Peak Fire has now reached 119,166 acres and is officially the third largest wildfire in Colorado history. The fire is at 25% containment with 839 personnel assigned.

New structure damage has been confirmed along HWY14 between the Fish Hatchery and Rustic, according to officials. The fire is still too active for the assessment team to access the area.

Watch video from above of the advancement of the fire. High winds and gusts are creating excessive fire activity and causing air travel over the fire to be turbulent.

UPDATE (Sept. 25, 4:08 p.m.): A Red Cross shelter has been set up at the La Porte-Cache Poudre Middle School Gymnasium, 3515 Co Road 54G, Laporte.

Fire activity picked up on the Cameron Peak Fire today. Check out the satellite imaging of the fire to see just how much activity was happening.

UPDATE (Sept. 25, 1:45 p.m.): New mandatory evacuations have been issued for the Glacier View filings, Red Feather Highlands subdivision and the Lady Moon area.

“Evacuating immediately not only supports your safety, but also allows emergency crews better access to the area,” the Larimer County Sheriff said.

https://twitter.com/LETA_911/status/1309578481056059393

UPDATE (Sept. 25, 9:20 a.m.): A red flag warning is in effect today which could create extreme conditions and, according to incident managers, means a “heads up” day for firefighters on the ground.

The northernmost portion of the fire. Helicopters and air tankers were used to assist ground crews who are extinguishing hot spots and building fire lines.

Incident managers say there is very little activity in Rocky Mountain National Park.

UPDATE (Sept. 24, 7:14p.m.): Credentials are being offered to residents who live in the following areas under voluntary evacuation orders: Glacier View, Lady Moon and Magic Sky Ranch. Credentials are also being offered to people under mandatory evacuation orders, according to the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office.

The credentials will be distributed from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Cache La Poudre Middle School in Laporte.

More information is available on the sheriff’s office website.

UPDATE (Sept. 24, 11:15 a.m.): Heavy equipment will be operating today in the area dubbed the “thumb” to connect containment lines and open some roads.

East of Comanche Reservoir, crews are also using heavy equipment to build containment lines, in conjunction with helicopter bucket drops if necessary.

UPDATE (Sept. 23, 10:46 p.m.): Containment has increased significantly, from 17% to 27%.

Estimated acreage grew slightly to 104,791.

Fire weather increases Thursday due to “dryness, instability, breezy and warm conditions,” officials said.

Warm, dry weather will continue Friday.

UPDATE (Sept. 23, 10:15 a.m.): Overnight crews continued to work on a fire line near the 517 road. According to managers, working after dark means cooler temperatures and less wind, which creates better conditions for burn operations. The goal of this burn is to direct the fire down toward the highway.

Throughout the day today, helicopters and air tankers will be used throughout the day to drop water and flame retardant.

Surge forces and structure protection are prepared in the Crystal Lakes and Red Feather Lakes areas.

Fire managers say the team is making progress and additional containment was added to the perimeter on the southeast corner near Buckhorn.

UPDATE (Sept. 22, 10:54 p.m.): Officials say firefighters are “working day and night” from the ground and air to fight the fire.

“Working during the night buys time as cooler temperatures and less wind moderate fire behavior. The strategy is to pinch off the head of the fire with direct lines on the flanks,” officials said.

As of today, its acreage stands at 104,652. It is 17% contained.

UPDATE (Sept. 22, 10:36 a.m.): Fire officials have lifted the voluntary evacuations for Glen Haven, the Glen Haven Retreat, Storm Mountain, and County Road 43.

Check out the updated evacuation map:

UPDATE (Sept. 22, 9:05 a.m.): The area west of Manhattan Road will remain the most active today, and the plan is to continue working with aerial resources and heavy equipment.

Structure protection efforts are underway in Crystal Lakes and Red Feather Lakes will continue to be ready if needed.

The elevated fire conditions this week continue to be hazardous because of potential outflow winds.

UPDATE (Sept. 21, 10:15 a.m.): Incident managers say the Cameron Peak fire has burned into flatter terrain, which will give firefighters a better chance to directly engage the flames along the edge.

The management team also said this landscape is better conditions for the use of air support including tankers and helicopters that can drop water and retardant.

An indirect fire control line along Deadman and Manhattan road was created previously for exactly this type of event, managers say.

The northern, southern and wester portions of the fire are expected to remain less active.

UPDATE (Sept. 21, 8:23 a.m.): South Metro Brush 33 with a crew of 4 personnel joined firefighters from across the front range to assist with the #cameronpeakfire in Larimer County this morning.

UPDATE (Sept. 21, 7:33 a.m.): There is a new roadblock at CR74E (Red Feather Lakes Rd) and CR37.

UPDATE (Sept. 20, 8:33 p.m.): According to officials, as of about 7:45 p.m. the fire moderated quite a bit after the sun went down, temperatures dropped, relative humidity increased and the wind decreased.

When the fire blazed up making an almost two and a half mile run earlier today, authorities took precautions with evacuations and safety measures with personnel.

“We put some folks up on the Deadman Road. Basically we just got in position to implement any structure protection for the communities of Red Feather and Crystal Lakes should we need to do that,” Cory Carlson, Planning Operations Trainee said.

UPDATE (Sept. 20, 7:50 p.m.): The fire grew 1,561 acres and is now at 104,157 acres with 779 personnel working on it.

Gusty winds from the southwest this afternoon caused the fire to become very active on the northwest perimeter, often referred to as the “thumb” of the fire and firefighters were pulled back to their safety zones.

The fire moved eastward crossing the Killpecker line and near Middle Bald Mountain.

Officials reported: “The indirect lines along the Deadman and Manhattan Roads were developed in preparation for this type of event.

Aircraft are being used to drop water and retardant to slow down the fire spread.”  

The Red Cross set up an evacuation site at La Porte-Cache Poudre Middle School Gymnasium, 3515 Co Road 54G, Laporte shortly after they were issued.

Voluntary evacuations for Glacier View filings, the Lady Moon area, and Magic Sky Ranch area were ordered this afternoon.

UPDATE (Sept. 20, 3:53 p.m.): Check out this infrared map showing the activity on the fire:

UPDATE (Sept. 20, 3:14 p.m.): Larimer County issued mandatory evacuations for the Red Feather Lakes and Crystal Lakes areas.

UPDATE (Sept. 20, 3:04 p.m.): Wind from storms moving through the fire area increased activity on Saturday. Helicopter drops helped keep the fire at bay when 15-30 mph winds came through. Similar conditions are expected on Sunday. The storms are not bringing much moisture over the fire. The majority of firefighters will monitor firelines on the north and northwest sides.

Officials released the latest evacuation map on Sunday:

The latest map of the fire:

UPDATE (Sept. 19, 9:49 p.m.): Fire officials have spoken about the danger of drone use in the area of a fire. Air Operations Branch Director Dan Sullivan explains aircraft coordination at the fire and how dangerous unauthorized drones can be.

Check out the map of the flight paths for air operations:

UPDATE (Sept. 19, 2:16 p.m.): Fire conditions today mirror those of yesterday, officials said.

Ground and air crews concentrated efforts on Green Ridge along Highway 14, where the fire was active.

A storm system moving into the area today will bring breezy conditions, thunderstorms and the potential for dry lightning. Winds will increase on Sunday.

“As weather and fire activity allows, firefighters will continue building direct fire lines where it is safe, monitoring existing lines, and continue with contingency preparations around communities and subdivisions in proximity to the fire,” officials said.

UPDATE (Sept. 18, 10:58 p.m.): A high pressure system will remain over the area until tomorrow, when a storm system will bring the possibility of thunderstorms.

UPDATE (Sept. 18, 9:20 a.m.): Today’s weather, which Cameron Peak Fire meteorologists called “a typical September day,” will cause smoke to settle and be visible in the communities around the fire.

Fire behavior and firefighting efforts are expected to be nearly identical to yesterday, with a heavy focus on constructing fire lines to prevent growth and protect nearby subdivisions.

The northwest corner is expected to be most active with multiple crews and helicopters fighting the fire as conditions allow.

Some areas of the Araphoe and Roosevelt national forests have reopened because of limited fire activity nearby.

The general area now closed is all National Forest System lands west of County Road 67J and County Road 27; east of the Colorado State Forest State Park; south of County Road 80C; and north of Rocky Mountain Park.

UPDATE (Sept. 17, 11 p.m.): Containment of the fire has increased from 8% to 15%. Nearly 1,000 people remain assigned to fighting it.

UPDATE (Sept. 17, 10:05 a.m.): Firefighters are starting to prepare for the weekend when they expect fire lines to be tested.

This week’s dry conditions combined with expected gusty winds from thunderstorms could create erratic conditions.

Following the storm, higher humidity and lower temperatures are expected to lower temperatures.

UPDATE (Sept. 16, 9:15 a.m.): Dry fuels, warm temperatures and low humidity are expected to lead to an increase in fire activity today and for the next few days, fire managers said in their morning update.

Firefighters will spend today working in and around communities to protect buildings near the fire’s edge.

Mire firefighters will be shifted to “the thumb” where fire activity has been especially high in the past few days.

High pressure will last into the weekend when a storm is expected to move in from the south that could bring thunderstorms.

UPDATE (Sept. 15, 10:52 p.m.): Containment of the fire has increased to 8%. More than 1,000 people are still assigned to fighting it, according to officials.

UPDATE (Sept. 15, 1:03 p.m.): The fire remains at 102,596 acres with 4% containment. Good progress was made on direct fire lines along the Buckhorn Road to Comanche Reservoir, Pingree Park Road, Highway 14 and the section of fire above Highway 14 (the Thumb) despite the rugged terrain and distance required for line construction.

Officials say the Thumb and Rocky Mountain National Park had hot spots and flare ups in the last 24 hours. The Buckhorn Road and Comanche Lake section of fire line to prevent perimeter growth from the anticipated northwesterly wind event will have extra resources.

Air operations will continue supporting ground crews as needed, focusing on the most active areas of the fire where hot spots have been observed and fire activity is picking up. 

UPDATE (Sept. 15, 8:45 a.m.): Some of the voluntary evacuations caused by the Cameron Peak Fire have been lifted.

According to the Larimer County Sheriff, people who live in the Glacier View area can return to their homes. They are advised to use caution while driving through the area.

UPDATE (Sept. 14, 10:15 a.m.): Warm weather and sunny skies have contributed to the continued snow melt in the Cameron Peak Fire area, which means areas that were for a short time not at risk of burning are now drying out.

However, the snow from last week gave firefighters the opportunity to construct direct firelines along Buckhorn Road to Comanche reservoir. Indirect fireline construction also took place near the Crystal Lakes, Red feather and Glacier View subdivisions.

Today, firefighters will focus on continued fire line construction in anticipation of a northwesterly wind predicted for Tuesday. Surge forces will be focused on the Buckhorn/Pingree Park area for this reason.

UPDATE (Sept. 13, 10:25 p.m.): An additional 64 firefighters have been added to the total personnel working on the fire. Officials discussed what they look at and how they anticipate the fire’s movement.

“The lodgepole itself, when it burns, it usually confines itself to a patch that burns and expands out. But when we get that kind of winds behind it, it moves quite rapidly. We had some 4-8 mile runs of where it did move through that lodgepole pine,” Cameron Peak Fire Behavior Analyst Robb Beery said.

The snow helped put didn’t put the fire out. The fire is burning large trees but the precipitation did help put out the grass fires and smaller stuff burning, Beery said.

Places where the heavier fuel is, he said, will be smoking as the temperatures rise and the area dries out.

“This fire will be smoking and will be active interior until we get sustained storms on top of it,” Beery said.

The latest interactive evacuation map has been posted:

UPDATE (Sept. 13, 4:30 p.m.): The fire did not grow and containment remains at 4%. Fire activity will be minimal on Sunday, allowing firefighters to continue building direct fire line on the west, north and east sides of the fire edge. 

Precautionary measures are being taken to work on structure protection and indirect fire line in Crystal Lakes, Red Feather, and Glacier View subdivisions. Estes Park and surrounding communities, structures are being assessed to establish a defensive plan.

The fire is still smoldering in many areas around Pingree Park and Monument Gulch. That is making it unsafe for crews to work and complete a full assessment.

UPDATE (sept. 12, 11: 19 p.m.): Power was restored to the Highway 14 corridor.

UPDATE (Sept. 12, 6:18 p.m.): According to authorities, 54 structures were destroyed by the fire. Twenty-five were residential and 29 were outbuildings, an additional two structures were damaged but not destroyed. All property owners with known damage to structures were contacted.

Officials say “there may be additional outbuildings with damage that were not located, but we are not aware of any other reported residential structure damage inside the fire perimeter.”

“The snow was certainly welcome and made an impact on the fire, but it also slowed the assessment process. Many people worked very hard to access these areas, complete assessments, and get word to the owners with damage as quickly as possible. I can only imagine how devastating the loss of a home or property to wildfire must be. Our thoughts and prayers are with you,” Sheriff Justin Smith said.

UPDATE (Sept. 12, 11:48 a.m.): Fire activity was minimal yesterday. However, crews are concerned about possible flare-ups in the coming days, as infrared data showed “a significant number” of hot spots.

“Crews continue to surge resources and focus on building direct line along the fire’s edge in the Buckhorn and Pingree Park area, along Highway 14, and mopping up hot spots,” officials said.

The portion of the fire in Rocky Mountain National Park received 6 inches of snow yesterday, allowing firefighters to focus their efforts elsewhere.

“Firefighter and public safety continued to be the top priority as firefighters contend with slippery roads and slopes, rolling debris, and fire weakened trees. The week ahead is expected to be increasing hot and dry with smoke and flames becoming more visible,” officials said.

The Southwest Area Incident Management Team 3 took command of the fire today, giving the Rocky Mountain Team Black time to rest and allowing the Portland NIMO team to return to the Pacific Northwest to fight major fires there.

UPDATE (Sept. 11, 1:14 p.m.): Power is still disabled in some areas but has been restored in others.

UPDATE (Sept. 11, 12:16 p.m.): The Cameron Peak Fire remains at 102,596 acres and 4% contained. Snow and rain earlier this week has kept fire behavior to a minimum, but activity is expected to increase as conditions begin to dry.

The Southwest Area Incident Management Team 3 will assume command of the fire on Saturday. The Portland NIMO team and Rocky Mountain Team Black are rotating off of the incident to prepare for their next assignments.

UPDATE (Sept. 10, 10:51 p.m.): Up to 2 inches of additional snow is possible on western portions of the fire overnight. Winds will be gusty on Friday with highs in the 50s expected.

UPDATE (Sept. 10, 10:45 a.m.): Smoke and fire activity is expected to remain low for the next few days as snow melt continues to keep the area damp.

Because of this, the air quality impact is expected to be minimal, however smoke from other fires in the western part of the country will continue to flow into our area.

After the uptick in activity over the past weekend, an increase in personnel has been called in to help control the fire and about 1,200 people are now active.

UPDATE (Sept. 9, 10:05 p.m.): Two days of snow doesn’t mean the Cameron Peak Fire is out.
Far from it. That’s the message from firefighters in Larimer County.

Fire officials admit the 8-to-14 inches of snow over the fire perimeter, did help. They also acknowledged the moisture was responsible for power loss, downed trees and some impassable roads.

Authorities also said some structures have been lost, over the past couple of days. Thankfully, no, new evacuation orders have been issued. The Cameron Peak Fire has consumed more than 100,000 acres. It remains only 4% contained.

UPDATE (Sept. 9, 8:28 p.m.): Officials say no new evacuation orders or road closures have been issued today.

Tomorrow and Friday, credentials for residents in current mandatory evacuation areas will be offered at Cache La Poudre Middle School from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. Full details are available on Larimer County’s website.

Currently, 1,057 people are assigned to fighting the fire.

UPDATE (Sept. 9, 11:46 a.m.): The predicted cold front moved into the area bringing with it high humidity, precipitation and a north-east wind which abruptly stopped the eastward progress of the fire. Precipitation in the form of snow blanketed the fire area with an accumulation of 8-14 inches of heavy, wet snow which made travel difficult off of main roads. Fire activity will be diminished today due to low temperatures and precipitation. 

UPDATE (Sept. 8, 10:46 p.m.): Snow fell on the fire today. Some areas received 5 inches of heavy, wet snow, according to officials.

Humidity levels are not expected to drop as quickly as they did during the last round of precipitation, which occurred last week.

Evacuation orders have been lifted for the following areas: Highway 14 from Stove Prairie to Gateway Park, County Road 52E (Rist Canyon Road) to include Davis Ranch Road and Whale Rock Road east to County Road 27E, and County Road 27 south from County Road 44H down to Masonville and east to include Buckskin Heights.

To see the latest map of mandatory and voluntary evacuations, visit NoCoAlert’s website.

UPDATE (Sept. 8, 11:05 a.m.): Yesterday’s winds spread the fire across indirect fire lines at Pingree Park eastward. The wind also grounded aircraft, which made fighting the fire more difficult.

The Type 2 Southwest Area Incident Management Team No. 3 was brought in yesterday and took command of the south zone of the fire as of 6 a.m. today. They will focus on the portion of the fire within Rocky Mountain National Park.

Across the fire, crews plan to take advantage of today’s weather to assess the effects of the fire and suppress hot spots. They will also look for areas where new fire lines can be constructed and check for structure damage as access allows.

The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office will notify owners as property damage is discovered and confirmed.

UPDATE (Sept. 8, 8:45 a.m.): One inch of snow fell on the fire overnight. This along with the cool temperatures will help to dampen fire activity today.

UPDATE (Sept. 8, 8:15 a.m.): The Cameron Peak Fire grew to 102,596 acres as of Tuesday morning with 4% containment.

UPDATE (Sept. 7, 10:33 p.m.): The community meeting with a Q & A held this evening was a roundtable of officials including Rocky Mountain National Park and Larimer County Sheriff’s Office.

UPDATE (Sept. 7, 6:49 p.m.): According to the Rocky Mountain Area Coordination Center, the Cameron Peak Fire has grown to 96,462 acres.

Cameron Peak fire officials have ordered mandatory evacuations for the Lady Moon and Red Feather Highlands areas in Red Feather.

UPDATE (Sept. 7, 4:30 p.m.): The Cameron Peak Fire has now surpassed a coverage area of more than 89,000 acres.

UPDATE (Sept. 7, 4:10 p.m.): Cameron Peak Fire command has requested a state wide emergency request for engines to assist with structure protection ahead of anticipated extreme fire behavior as the cold front moves through the fire area. Most departments are sending structure engines to staging including Denver Fire with five.

“The cold front arrives hours before any precipitation. It’s lagging behind. I’ve seen a forecast that flares Cameron up significantly as the front blows in with 50mph gusts,” FOX31 Meteorologist Chris Tomer said. “They don’t use the phrasing ‘Extreme’ lightly. Could be looking at 3-5 hours of ‘Extreme’ behavior.”

FOX31 Meteorologist Dave Fraser added, “Wind in Casper Wyoming currently NE and gusting to 45mph…this will push the fire southwards and flare it up.”

UPDATE (Sept. 7, 3:16 p.m.): New mandatory evacuations have been issued for the Cameron Peak Fire for all of County Road 52E (Rist Canyon Road) to include Davis Ranch Road, Whale Rock Road and west to County Road 27E Also, Highway 14 from Stove Prairie Landing to Gateway Park and County Road 27 from County Road 44H south to Big Bear Road for residents and business occupants due to immediate and imminent danger.

County Road 27 south of Big Bear Road to Masonville and north into the Buckskin Heights subdivision are under voluntary evacuations.

UPDATE (Sept. 7, 11 a.m.): Cameron Peak fire officials have issued a voluntary evacuation for all of County Road 52E (Rist Canyon Road) to include Davis Ranch Road, Whale Rock Road and west to County Road 27E.

UPDATE (Sept. 7, 10 a.m.): This is the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office with an emergency message. Cameron Peak fire officials have ordered mandatory evacuations for Glacier View filings for residents and business occupants in the area due to immediate and imminent danger. Evacuate the area immediately and as quickly as possible. Do not delay leaving to gather belongings or make efforts to protect your home or business. Evacuating immediately not only supports your safety, but also allows emergency crews better access to the area. For updates, text the word LCEVAC to 888777 from your cell phone. We will communicate information to that key word as needed. Please do not call 9-1-1 unless you are in danger.

UPDATE (Sept. 7, 7:50 a.m.): The fire grew to more than 59,000 acres overnight, up from 34,000 on Sunday. It is now considered 4% contained.

UPDATE (Sept. 6, 10:50 p.m.): FOX31’s Nicole Fierro got a first-hand look at what fire crews are dealing with on the ground.

Planning ops section chief Tom Barter said the fire did not move north but it did move and grow to the east. The fire moved to the south but hit rock and tundra which slowed it down.

Similar conditions to Saturday night will produce the same results with expected active fire activity. A Red Flag Warning is still in effect meaning there is low humidity, dry conditions and high winds.

UPDATE (Sept. 6, 8:44 p.m.): Cameron Peak fire officials have issued a voluntary evacuation for County Road 27 (Stove Prairie Road) from Highway 14 south to County Road 44H, east to include County Road 41 and Stratton Park due to the anticipated fire activity tomorrow. Voluntary evacuations are advised for residents and business occupants if they are concerned for their safety, feel they need additional time to exit the area, or have health conditions that may be aggravated by this incident. You are encouraged to move livestock and pets out of the area and to prepare for mandatory evacuations.

Hwy 14 is now closed at Stove Prairie Landing and CR74E is now closed at CR37.

UPDATE (Sept. 6, 4:39 p.m.): An update has been issued for evacuations: The Cameron Peak fire officials have 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.

UPDATE (Sept. 6, 3:36 p.m.): The fire moved south into the remote northern part of Rocky Mountain National Park late yesterday. Because of Red Flag Warnings, critical fire weather conditions and active fire behavior on the Cameron Peak Fire, Trail Ridge Road in RMNP will close at 3 pm today 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.

High temps and very low humidity created aggressive fire behavior as the fire grew almost 10,000 acres to 34,289 with 5% containment. Smoke could be seen for miles as the fire made runs along Highway 14 on Green Ridge, and east along the Crown Point Road corridor, and south into the northern part of RMNP. South of the Highway 14 corridor, the fire made runs eastward towards Crown Point Road and Browns Lake trailhead. The fire is expected to make additional pushes in those areas today.

Officials expect heavy fire activity today with high temps and low humidity again, adding in gusty winds. Air quality around the fire is poor due to the excessive amount fo smoke produced by the fire.

Authorities held a community meeting this afternoon on Facebook.

UPDATE (Sept. 5, 11:07 p.m.): Old Fall River Road closed late tonight in Rocky Mountain National Park until further notice. The trailhead at Chapin Pass is closed. Trail Ridge Road remains open.  With Red Flag Warnings in place through Monday, changing conditions could bring additional closures.

Check out the aerial footage of the fire. The footage was captured by the @CODivFirePrevControl multi-mission aircraft (MMA).

UPDATE (Sept. 5, 7:39 p.m.): Fire officials have ordered voluntary evacuations for Crystal Lakes, Red Feather Lakes and the west side of the Manhattan Road from County Road 74E down to Highway 14.

UPDATE (Sept. 5, 6:43 p.m.): The fire has grown to 24,464 since this morning. Fire officials have ordered a mandatory evacuation for residents and business occupants in the area along Highway 14 from the Fish Hatchery east to Kelly Flats and the Pingree Park Road from Highway 14 south to the housing district east of the CSU Mountain Campus for all residents and businesses due to immediate and imminent danger. 

Voluntary evacuations are in place in the area of County Road 44H from Pennock Pass east to County Road 27 as well as residences to the south using County Road 44H as access.

UPDATE (Sept. 5, 12:08 p.m.): The fire grew slightly to 23,906 acres. It will remain active today and tomorrow as dry conditions continue.

Smoke has created moderate air quality in communities like Fort Collins and Boulder. However, officials said the worst of the smoke was in the morning and better conditions are expected after midday.

UPDATE (Sept. 4, 9:48 a.m.): The fire grew to 23,903 acres and remains at 6% containment. It is expected to be warm and dry today, creating active fire activity. Fire crews expect to participate in group torching and runs on Green Ridge, south of Sleeping Elephant Mountain and the upper South Fork of the Poudre River Areas.

UPDATE (Sept. 3, 5:55 p.m.): A firefighter tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday. Officials believe 25 people had direct contact with the firefighter and nine people had possible contact.

“The Colorado National Guard Rapid Response team has been deployed to conduct testing. Those who test positive will be relocated and isolated,” officials said.

While people wait for results, they will continue to work on the fire in small groups.

“We have a responsibility to this community and to other states to ensure that our people are healthy before we send them home. We know that keeping anyone isolated or quarantined
won’t be popular, but it’s the right thing to do. It’s due to the exceptionally good social distancing, mask wearing and hand washing practices at the FOB, that this wasn’t worse,” Incident Commander Bea Day said in a statement.

UPDATE (Sept. 3, 11:30 a.m.): Increased fire activity is expected today with a Red Flag Warning in effect for the area where the Cameron Peak Fire is burning.

Because of the drier weather the past few days and strong winds on Wednesday, the fire did grow to 23,137 acres. This growth did not impact containment, which stayed at 6%.

The fire was most active on the northeastern edge near Green Ridge.

UPDATE (Sept. 2, 10:59 p.m.): Containment increased slightly today from 5% to 6%.

UPDATE (Sept. 2, 2 p.m.): The Cameron Peak Fire grew by 15 acres Tuesday to 23,037 acres total.

Today, crews are monitoring structures in communities northeast of the fire and along Buckhorn Road.

On the southwest side of the fire, crews will be working to identify areas where they can construct fire lines near Coral Creek and northwest of Rocky Mountain National Park.

UPDATE (Sept. 1, 10:55 p.m.): A warming, drying pattern is expected to continue into Wednesday, making for more challenging firefighting conditions. Officials said breezy conditions are also forecast.

UPDATE (Sept. 1, 11:26 a.m.): Officials report the fire has not grown and is holding at 23,022 acres. Rain over the area and sparse fuels on a ridgeline have put the fire at 5% containment.

An increase in winds and drop in relative humidity are predicted to increase fire activity and smoke production today.

CDOT moved road closure on Highway 14 west to Rustic. Highway 14 is closed from Rustic to Gould. All voluntary evacuations near the fire have been lifted.

Equipment and crews will continue doing line prep using the Crown Point Road, removing vegetation and snags so crews can begin working north towards the Laramie River Road.

Other crews will continue work building line south from the Crown Point Road towards the Comanche Peak Wilderness to connect natural features in higher elevations.

On the southeast finger of the fire, crews working along Long Draw Road have received approval to construct line into the Neota Wilderness to Highway 14 and will begin that line construction

UPDATE (Aug. 31, 11:47 p.m.): The fire was not as active with rain falling most of the day.

UPDATE (Aug. 31, 11:45 a.m.): Surge forces have begun to work off crown Point Road. This is an area where a direct fire line cannot be created, so they are working to develop an indirect line.

UPDATE (Aug. 30, 10:13 p.m.): According to stats on the InciWeb site, the size of the fire is 23,007 acres. The Operation Section Chief, Russ Long said one of the biggest issues with the fire is its location. It is burning at an elevation of 9,500 feet and on the Continental Divide the air is very thin and difficult, he said. Watch the full Q & A from this afternoon.

UPDATE (Aug. 30, 5:04 p.m.): With minimal growth on Saturday, the fire increased to 23,013 acres and is still at 0% containment. There are now 854 personnel working on the fire.

It was discovered that the USFS Greenridge/Lost Lake trailhead outhouse was burned during the early phases of the fire. It is the only structure confirmed as lost on the fire as of Saturday. 

UPDATE (Aug. 29, 11:10 p.m.): Authorities updated the community that the fire did not have much growth on Saturday.

UPDATE (Aug. 29, 7:51 p.m.): Officials for the Cameron Peak Fire are hosting an hour long live Q & A on Facebook Sunday beginning at 2 p.m.

UPDATE (Aug. 29, 11:36 a.m.): The fire area has received about 1/4 inch of rain, which has moderated fire activity, officials say. The fire grew sightly to 23,007 acres.

UPDATE (Aug. 28, 10:56 p.m.): Officials say there is a good chance of “wetting rains” over the fire area on Saturday.

Gusty winds are expected Sunday.

The latest acreage estimate remains at 22,971.

UPDATE (Aug. 28, 12:34 p.m.): Authorities report that no structures, facilities, or infrastructure have been damaged. The fire is still reported at 0% containment.

Work was completed on the Deadman and Manhattan Roads down to Hwy 14 and those roads have been improved over the past week. Structure protection work has also been completed along the Pingree Park Road.  

Crews will be working to complete structure protection measures from Stub Creek to Four Corners on Friday and structure mitigation will continue from the fish hatchery to the east on Hwy 14 towards Poudre Canyon Fire Protection District Station 2.

Officials report, “Cleaning and widening of Crown Point Road will continue to Dadd Gulch. Crews will be assessing the Cameron Pass area and Pingree Park Road for strategies that will tie the indirect fire lines into the high elevations of Rocky Mountain National Park.” 

UPDATE (Aug. 28, 10:22 a.m.): The fire grew to 22,971 acres by Friday morning. The containment of the fire was not reported.

Widespread showers and thunderstorms are expected today. Winds are expected to shift to the east in the afternoon from a cold front moving in.

UPDATE (Aug. 27, 11:55 p.m.): Authorities said there were isolated thunderstorms over the fire area today. However, conditions change significantly tomorrow.

“Widespread showers and thunderstorms are expected Friday as a back door cold front brings a wind shift to the east during the afternoon,” officials said.

The number of people fighting the fire has grown from 706 to 735.

UPDATE (Aug. 27, 4:15 p.m.): People living in evacuated areas near the Cameron Peak Fire are being asked to register for credentials along with those living in areas that may be evacuated in the future.

According to fire managers, the credential process will speed up re-entry after the wildfire is extinguished.

They will not be required for day-to-day access to properties as long as proof of ownership or residency is available, but for homes or other properties damaged by fire the credentials will be required moving forward.

“This is to help prevent unauthorized persons from accessing your property. Only one credential will be issued per household/property.  We believe this will allow for better accountability and help safeguard your property. It is also extremely important to limit access into hazard areas until the areas are safe for re-entry,” a release from the fire managers said.

Who can/should get credentials: Credentials will only be issued to residents and property owners from the communities of Red Feather Lakes, Crystal Lakes, and those in current evacuation areas (voluntary and mandatory):

  • Rustic
  • the Pingree Hill area (CR69 between Rustic and Goodell Corner)
  • the Long Draw Road/Long Draw Reservoir area
  • the Crown Point/Hourglass Reservoir/CSU Mountain Campus area
  • the upper Buckhorn/Pennock Pass area
  • The area from the intersection of Highway 14 and County Road 103 north to Four Corners and areas around Chambers Lake
  • The area south of County Road 86 (Deadman Road) from County Road 103 east to County Road 73C and south to Highway 14

***Red Feather Lakes and Crystal Lakes are not part of the current evacuation areas.  Credentials are being issued to those communities as a precautionary measure.

Credentials will be issued starting Monday, Aug. 31 at the Cache La Poudre Middle School in Laporte.

Click here to find out more about the credential process, including what you need to bring to register.

UPDATE (Aug. 27, 11:40 a.m.): Fire activity is expected to pickup Thursday due to the steep terrain and a high percentage of dead trees near the fire.

Because of this, ground crews are not able to directly access the fire’s edge safely.

Crews will continue laying hoses in sprinklers in some areas where the fire has stopped spread to continue its containment. In others areas, mop up activities are underway.

Crews along the northern, eastern and southeastern flanks of the fire are working to build fuel breaks using heavy equipment and existing roadways.

UPDATE (Aug. 27, 4:42 a.m.): Mountain Incident Command Team Blue took some new photos of the fire. You can view them here.

UPDATE (Aug. 26, 11:42 p.m.): Officials say even hotter temperatures and lower humidity levels are expected Thursday. Scattered thunderstorms are also possible. Cooler weather is expected Friday but breezy conditions will persist.

UPDATE (Aug. 26, 11:20 a.m.): No overnight size estimate was available this morning because weather prevented the scheduled infrared mapping flight.

Fire managers said much of the day Tuesday was spent conducting controlled burns from Highway 14 toward the northeast flank of the story. Heavy equipment and hand crews also spent time near the Crystal Lake and Red Feather communities along Manhattan Road improving fire breaks that include roads and dozer lines.

As weather allows today, crews will continue with controlled burns to remove fuel between the fire and nearby structures.

UPDATE (Aug. 25, 11:06 p.m.): The number of people fighting the fire has decreased from 742 to 686. Firefighters faced low humidity and warm temperatures today. More challenging conditions are expected tomorrow.

UPDATE (Aug. 25, 10:15 a.m.): The Cameron Peak Fire grew about 1,000 acres overnight, bringing its new size to 21,017 acres.

The wildfire is still zero percent contained, but crews are working on a fire line in the Sage Meadows area that will connect Laramie River Road to Deadman Road.

North of the fire, the structure protection group is working on controlled burns around buildings and other structures. The goal is to remove fuel so the fire can’t get to these structures.

UPDATE (Aug. 25, 8:10 a.m.): Mountain View Fire Rescued says it has a Captain at the fire and his division is the task force leader for engines from all over the state.

UPDATE (Aug. 25, 4:18 a.m.): New photos were released from the fire. Check them out here: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/photograph/6964/1/101842

UPDATE (Aug. 24, 8:11 p.m.): Officials provided an update for the fire on Facebook. The acreage has not changed.

UPDATE (Aug. 24, 9:15 a.m.): The fire grew to 20,118 acres Monday with no containment. According to officials, the hot, dry and windy conditions yesterday kept the fire active, especially in the Peterson Lake area. The fire also grew north of the West Work Tunnel area.

Today, fire personnel will be working along Pingree Park Road and along the ridge line from Dadd Gulch to Highway 14.

UPDATE (Aug. 23, 7:48 p.m.): Cameron Peak Fire officials provided an update for the community.

UPDATE (Aug. 23, 2:31 p.m.): The Cameron Peak Fire is burning 18,287 acres with 0% containment. The southeast fire front saw the most activity on Saturday as it approached Long Draw Reservoir.

When the Lewstone Fire, located west of Bellvue, started on Saturday, Cameron Peak Fire managers assisted Larimer County with initial attack by utilizing helicopters attached to this incident. Some crews from the Cameron Peak Fire are assisting on the Lewstone Fire on Sunday.

Colorado Highway 14 is closed from Kelly Flats to Gould. Larimer County has implemented mandatory and voluntary evacuation orders, and the Arapaho Roosevelt National Forest has implemented a closure area around the fire. The Canyon Lakes Ranger District is under Stage 2 fire restrictions. 

UPDATE (Aug. 22, 8:51 p.m.): Division Supervisor Nathan Hallam describes how heavy equipment and hand crews are used to create a wide fuel break on the far northeastern portion of the fire.

UPDATE (Aug. 22, 3:44 p.m.): Fire officials report the fire is burning 17,246 acres, with no report of structure damage or injuries. There are 674 personnel working on the fire. A live update will be provided at 5:30 p.m.

UPDATE (Aug. 21, 6:21 p.m.): The ops chief for the Rocky Mountain Blue Team said the cloud cover slightly reduced the activity of the fire on Friday. He said they are working on implementing a defensive feature if the fire continues to move to the south closer to the northern end of Rocky Mountain National Park. Firefighters and personnel from RMNP and the National Forest Service have been working with Larimer County and the Rocky Mountain Blue Team.

UPDATE (Aug. 21, 4:58 p.m.): As the fire continues to move and grow, Larimer County Sheriff’s Office has issued new voluntary evacuations for the area of County Road 44H from Pennock Pass east to County Road 27 as well as residences to the south using County Road 44H as access.

UPDATE (Aug. 21, 2:52 p.m.): The fire has grown in the area south of Highway 14. Mandatory evacuations have been ordered for residents and businesses in the area, up to and including Pennock Pass on County Road 44H due to immediate and imminent danger.

UPDATE (Aug. 21, 10:09 a.m.): A slight amount of rain yesterday helped moderate the fire’s behavior in the southwest corner between Cameron Pass and Long Draw Road, managers said Friday.

Overall, the wildfire only grew by about 200 acres overnight.

UPDATE (Aug. 20, 10:27 p.m.): The number of people fighting the fire has increased from 558 to 646. The fire area received a few showers today. However, officials said “wetting rains were not observed.”

UPDATE (Aug. 20, 8:04 p.m.): New road closures will go into effect as of 9 p.m., according to the Forest Service. The closure will be on Highway 14 at Kelly Flats. The Forest Service says it will allow large vehicles a place to turn around before Rustic.

UPDATE (Aug. 20, 2:10 p.m.): The portion of the Roosevelt National Forest closed due to the fire has been expanded.

The area now closed is all National Forest System lands generally west of County Roads 67J, 69, 63E and 27; east of the Colorado State Forest State Park; south of County Road 80 C; and north of Rocky Mountain Park and County Road 44H.

Details of the closure and a map are available on the US Forest Service’s website.

UPDATE (Aug. 20, 8:58 a.m.): The fire grew several hundred acres overnight, bringing it’s new size to 16,461 acres.

UPDATE (Aug. 20, 4:23 a.m.): The public affairs staff of the Arapaho Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland said a small amount of rain fell, helping moderate fire behavior despite gusty wind tossing burning embers across Highway 14 near Joe Wright Reservoir.

UPDATE (Aug. 19, 8:58 p.m.): Officials say fire activity was “somewhat less than expected” today. The fire area received a small amount of rain, which helped moderate fire behavior despite gusty winds.

UPDATE (Aug. 19, 1:14 p.m.): The United States Department of Agriculture is asking for help determining the cause of the fire.

Anyone who has photos from when it started or information is asked to email SM.FS.usfsarp@usda.gov or call 307-745-2392 then select option 5 and leave a message.

“The most helpful photos would be those taken of active fire adjacent to any of the adjacent trails, especially of smoke and flames located near these trails,” a release from the Forest Service said.

UPDATE (Aug. 19, 10:04 a.m.): New measurements have the fire at 15,738 acres after about 1,000 acres of growth overnight.

There are no new evacuations or road closures.

UPDATE (Aug. 19, 4:30 a.m.): The fire is now four miles away from the northwest edge of Rocky Mountain National Park. Out of an abundance of caution, the park has temporarily shut down a dozen trails and 20 campsites in the remote area.

UPDATE (Aug. 18, 11:38 p.m.): The number of people fighting the fire has increased significantly, from 393 to 502. A Fire Weather Watch has been issued for Wednesday, when firefighting conditions are expected to remain challenging.

UPDATE (Aug. 18, 5:42 p.m.): In a virtual update, firefighters said today was more challenging than yesterday and tomorrow will be “interesting.”

Widespread dry thunderstorms are expected across the area. This means thunder and lightning will prevent some of the activity on the ground, without the help of rain to put out the fire.

Another problem is wildlife in the area. Those fighting the fire have reported run-ins with bears, elk and deer. Some of the animals were protective because they had babies with them.

UPDATE (Aug. 18, 5:12 p.m.): The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office said that due to the possibility of new evacuation orders, it is issuing credentials to residents and property owners in certain areas. The credentials will “allow citizens to validate their residency while keeping the area secure,” the sheriff’s office said.

Anyone interested in obtaining credentials can visit the sheriff’s office website.

UPDATE (Aug. 18, 3:30 p.m.): Part of Rocky Mountain National Park has been closed because of the fire.

According to a tweet from the park service, the fire is about four miles from a remote portion in the northwest area of the park.

“This closure includes wilderness campsites, cross country zones and trail systems in the northwest section of the park. There are currently no road closures within Rocky Mountain National Park,” a post on the RMNP website said.

UPDATE (Aug. 18, 10:23 a.m.): Rocky Mountain Incident Management says the fire has grown by nearly 2,000 acres since last night and now sits at 14,018 acres.

Most of the growth has occurred along the west and southwest flanks in the Rawah Wilderness and Cameron Pass.

This fire still has not damaged any structures, and according to managers the goal is full suppression.

Colorado Highway 14 is closed from Rustic to Gould, and fire crews are creating heavy traffic through the Poudre Canyon.

UPDATE (Aug. 17, 8:38 p.m.): As of Monday evening, the fire is actively burning 12,323 acres, which is 1,000 less than what it was actively burning Monday morning.

Although there is 0% containment, helicopters were used along the west side of Long Draw Road and along Colorado Highway 14 to keep the fire from crossing either of those roads again, as east/northeast winds are pushing the fire to the west and southwest. 

UPDATE (Aug. 17, 5:30 p.m.): Fire officials said they are in full suppression mode when it comes to the Cameron Peak Fire. This means the focus is heavily on extinguishing the flames with less emphasis on fire cuts or other mitigation.

You can watch the full update from first responders here.

UPDATE (Aug. 17, 12:20 p.m.): West Metro Fire is assisting with this fire, and while most people are sleeping overnight, the fire is not.

UPDATE (Aug. 17, 10:12 a.m.): The fire grew to 13,305 acres with 0% containment Monday morning.

UPDATE (Aug. 16, 10:40 p.m.): The fire advanced on all fronts this afternoon, mostly along the Laramie River Road corridor and is now at 12,124 acres.

UPDATE (Aug. 16, 7:33 p.m.): No new evacuations are in place.

UPDATE (Aug. 16, 5:10 p.m.): The Chair of the Larimer County Board of Commissioners made a formal disaster declaration in anticipation of impacts from the Cameron Peak Fire. The declaration will be considered for ratification by the full Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, Aug. 18.

UPDATE (Aug. 16, 5:30 p.m.): Watch live update.

UPDATE (Aug. 16, 4:53 p.m.): The latest update was posted on Facebook at 4:22 p.m. A community meeting will be live from Facebook at 5:30 p.m. A link will be posted as soon as it’s available as an update.

UPDATE (Aug. 16, 3:42 p.m.): The Cameron Peak Fire has grown to 10,867 acres as of Sunday morning. No structures or campgrounds have been damaged. The fire crossed to the south side of Highway 14 in a second location yesterday, between Barnes Meadow Reservoir and Long Draw Road.

Colorado Highway 14 is closed from Rustic to Gould.

UPDATE (Aug. 15, 5:20 p.m.): An update was provided via Facebook Live

UPDATE (Aug. 14, 9:17 a.m.): The fire has grown to 5,424 acres. Officials say 120 personnel are assigned to the fire.

Evacuation orders are in place from Highway 14 north to Deadman Road and Four Corners, and from Red Feather Lakes west to Cameron Pass.

UPDATE (Aug. 14, 10:43 p.m.): With Colorado 14 closed, CDOT provided the following map to help people get between Walden and the Front Range. Drivers will have to go into Wyoming to get around the fire:

UPDATE (Aug. 14, 9:04 p.m.): The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office has extended evacuation orders to the Long Draw Reservoir area, which was previously under a voluntary evacuation.

UPDATE (Aug. 14, 8:07 p.m.): The fire has grown to 4,600 acres.

UPDATE (Aug. 14, 4:15 p.m.): The evacuation area has been expanded for the Cameron Peak Fire.

UPDATE (Aug. 14, 11 a.m.): The fire has now grown to 2,179 acres, according to US Forest Service.

Firefighters on the ground are being assisted by several helicopters as they work to contain the flames.

ORIGINAL (Aug. 13): Crews responded to a wildfire burning in wilderness west of Fort Collins Thursday afternoon.

According to the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office, the fire is located near Chambers Lake. A mandatory evacuation order is in place.

The sheriff’s office said the order is for the area from the intersection of Highway 14 and County Road 103 north to Four Corners, as well as the areas around Chambers lake.

“You will need to travel north into Wyoming for safety reasons. Do not delay leaving to gather belongings or make efforts to protect your home or business. Evacuating immediately not only supports your safety, but also allows emergency crews better access to the area,” the sheriff’s office said in an alert.

Highway 14 is closed between Rustic and Gould, the sheriff’s office said.

The Rocky Mountain Area Coordination Center is calling the blaze the “Cameron Peak Fire.”

About 9:50 p.m., the U.S. Forest Service estimated the fire’s size at 1,540 acres.

“Emergency managers are coordinating evacuations and conducting assessments of facilities and construction supplies stored in the area,” the Forest Service said.

Six air tankers have been called to assist in firefighting efforts.

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