GRAND COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — The East Troublesome Fire burned northeast of Kremmling in Grand County. It started on Oct. 14 and became fully contained on Dec. 2. It burned 193,812 acres, making it the second-largest wildfire in Colorado history after the Cameron Peak Fire.
Below is a blog of updates from the fire. It has been archived.
UPDATE (Dec. 2, 8:22 p.m.): The East Troublesome Fire is now 100% contained.
UPDATE (Nov. 14, 11:56 a.m.): Rocky Mountain National Park published a video explaining the fire’s rapid growth in late October. If video does not appear, click “Watch on Facebook”:
UPDATE (Nov. 12, 9:04 p.m.): Authorities say there has been no growth of the Thompson Zone, which is on the east side of the fire.
“The recent snow has diminished much of the smoke producing heat coming from the interior of the fire within Rocky Mountain National Park. Prior to this recent snow, the only heat observed was high on Beaver Mountain and on the back side of Mount Wuh, in steep terrain with beetle kill, snags and dead and down trees. These areas have been tested by high winds and the fire has not moved,” officials said in an update.
About 30,000 acres of Rocky Mountain National Park have been impacted by the fire, representing about 9% of the park’s area.
UPDATE (Nov. 10, 7:18 p.m.): All evacuation and pre-evacuation orders in Grand County have been lifted, according to the Grand County Office of Emergency Management.
The fire is now 60% contained.
UPDATE (Nov. 8, 11:00 p.m.): The fire is burning 193,812 acres and remains 47% contained. The number of personnel working on the fire has dropped to 121.
Although windy conditions exist, the fire is not expected to grow as snow moves into the area.
UPDATE (Nov. 6, 10:38 p.m.): Containment of the fire has increased to 47% — up from the previous estimate of 37%.
The number of people fighting the fire has decreased to 181.
UPDATE (Nov. 5, 5:39 p.m.): According to the Grand County Office of Emergency Management, all areas to the north of mile marker 5.3 on Highway 125 to mile marker 20, both east and west, have been reopened.
“The highway is now open and property owners may re-enter the area,” GCOEM said.
UPDATE (Nov. 5, 9:15 a.m.): Firefighters are continuing to work around “critical infrastructure” near Columbine Lake, East Inlet Trail and along Highways 40 and 125.
Some area and road closures remain in effect so anyone returning to the area should use extra caution, watching our for smoldering fires and damaged trees.
UPDATE (Nov. 4, 3:40 p.m.): Evacuation orders have been lifted from the Highway 34 corridor to Rocky Mountain National Park. The park remains closed.
Area and road closures are still in effect for the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests. Portions of the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest in Jackson County have reopened.
UPDATE (Nov. 2, 4:30 p.m.): Officials are focusing on locating and extinguishing ash pits, as well as checking road conditions and ensuring structure protection.
“Today, firefighters are staying vigilant for stumps and trees that have root systems still burning under ground creating very dangerous ash pits. Ash pits happen when fire consumes underground fuels creating empty space full of ash and producing burning embers which are often hard to see from above ground,” officials posted.
“Crews will be assessing road conditions and looking for opportunities to extinguish heat. Along the Highway 40 corridor crews will continue to patrol to confirm structure protection is adequate. Along the Highway 34 corridor, crews will secure fire around utilities and community infrastructure.”
UPDATE (Nov. 2, 10 a.m.): The Grand County Office of Emergency Management has opened up more areas for residents to re-enter. This includes all areas west of Highway 34 except north of the National park housing area/CR 491 and areas north of mile marker 5.3 on Highway 125 to mile marker 20.
UPDATE (Nov. 1, 11:07 p.m.): As smoldering continues, not much growth is expected. Officials say to expect increased smoke due to warm/dry conditions and continued snowmelt.
UPDATE (Nov. 1, 6:03 p.m.): For the first time FOX31 gained inside access to restricted zones in the East Troublesome fire. A fire team took our crew into Sun Valley Ranch Sunday. A number of residents have not been able to see this area since evacuating. Watch video above.
UPDATE (Nov. 1, 11:19 a.m.): Firefighters will continue looking for and extinguishing any areas of smoke along the Highway 40 corridor for community protection. Crews will be continuing cold trailing in Rocky Mountain National Park. Firefighters will focus mop-up efforts in the Columbine Lake area where there are still smoldering pockets and uncontained fireline.
UPDATE (Oct. 31, 10:14 p.m.): The Disaster Assistance Center and Information Center Hotline are open Nov. 1:
- Disaster Assistance Center: The Inn at Silver Creek, 62927 US-40 in Granby 9am-2pm
- Information Center Phone Number: 970-725-3803
UPDATE (Oct. 31, 11:38 a.m.): Containment of the fire has increased to 37%. The latest size estimate is 193,774 acres.
The Thompson Zone, a spot fire in Rocky Mountain National Park, is 0% contained at 4,346 acres.
Officials provided the following update about yesterday’s firefighting efforts in the Thompson Zone:
“Firefighters continued to improve firelines on the southern perimeter, prepared indirect line to the north that will tie into the Bear Lake Rd, monitored the snow melt for opportunities to get to the fire edge and pulled out equipment that is no longer needed.”
UPDATE (Oct. 30, 12:10 p.m.): As temperatures rise and snow continues to melt, dry fuels are absorbing moisture which is ideal for minimal fire activity.
Smoke may be seen in the northern part of the fire as it is the most active area and smoldering, according to officials.
Winds are expected to pick up today of 20 – 25 mph preceding a cold front moving into the state.
Firefighters cleared a small but important piece of containment line near Table Mountain yesterday.
RMNP remains closed due to both the East Troublesome and Cameron Peak fires. Park officials say when it does reopen only limited areas will be accessible.
UPDATE (Oct. 29, 9:42 p.m.): Containment of the fire has increased from 30% to 32%, according to the latest estimate from officials.
UPDATE (Oct. 29, 7:27 p.m.): The Grand County Office of Emergency Management published extensive information about evacuees returning to their homes on its Facebook page.
“The East Troublesome Fire is still evolving and will take every precaution to keep our community safe. While we hope no additional evacuations are needed, we are implementing plans to be as prepared as possible and will issue credentials for visitation and re-entry as appropriate,” the office said.
UPDATE (Oct. 29, 6:42 p.m.): Officials said yesterday’s weather helped ground and air crews to perform reconnaissance on the fire zone.
“During the aerial reconnaissance a decrease in smoke was noted in the Thompson Zone while increased smoke was detected in the Pingree Park and Comanche Reservoir area,” officials said.
Road conditions remain slick in many areas, limiting firefighters’ ability to reach portions of both the East Troublesome and Cameron Peak fires.
“Roads providing access to the fire north of Cedar Park, The Retreat and Glen Haven areas are very slick in the early morning and evenings and wet and mushy during the day. It will take at least a few more days before the roads are accessible to engine and heavy equipment use,” officials said.
UPDATE (Oct. 29, 11:08 a.m.): Higher temperatures today and a warming trend over the next few days is expected. Slowly melting snow is helping to minimize fire activity, however some zones in Rocky Mountain National Park are seeing warmer soil, which is drying out. Some fire activity is expected.
The northern portion of the fire burned in a mosaic pattern leaving pockets of unburned areas that continue to smolder. Overall, most of the fire activity and smoke has been from isolated smoldering spots within the fire perimeter.
Firefighters continue clearing the contingency line on the East Inlet Trail. From Granby to Grand Lake, crews will continue to mop up, extinguishing hot spots close to structures.
UPDATE (Oct. 29, 9:25 a.m.): Re-Entry Announcement for Specific Areas West of Highway 34
The Grand County Sheriff’s Office has announced the re-entry plan for specific areas on the west side of Highway 34.
At 9:20 a.m. on October 29, 2020 certain areas on the west side of Highway 34 north into the Town of Grand Lake will be open. Residents will be allowed to access those areas west of Highway 34 with the exception of those areas listed below. Several areas to the west of Highway 34 will remain closed as firefighters, law enforcement, utility crews and Disaster Assessment Teams continue their work.
See that attached maps. Green roads are OPEN to residents. Red roads are CLOSED to everyone, no exceptions.
The following Traffic Control Points remain in place preventing traffic to the west of these intersections:
1. Lower Scandlock (County Rd 4052) to the west of Highway 34
2. Main Scanlock (County Rd 4052) to the west of Highway 34
3. Upper Scanlock (County Road 4051) to the west of Highway 34
4. County Road 4064 to the west of Highway 34
5. County Road 41 prior to County Road 410
6. County Road 4 prior to County Road 451
7. County Road 442 prior to Private Drive
8. County Road 46 prior to Private Drive
9. County Road 47 to the west of Highway 34
10. County Road 479 (Mary Drive) prior to Tall Pine Circle
11. County Road 48 west of Highway 34
12. Highway 34 closed at County Road 48
Firefighters remains actively working in areas to the west of Highway 34 and road closures are possible in re-opened areas due to firefighting activity and road conditions.
There was a period of time during the fire in which your electrical power was lost. This will impact food quality and safety in your home. You should make plans to ensure an adequate food supply prior to returning to your home.
Highway 125 is CLOSED. Re-entry for areas along Highway 125 will require more extensive preparation, disaster assessment and safety management. The Grand County Sheriff’s Office is developing plans for the re-opening of areas on Highway 125 north of Highway 40. If you have questions on the re-opening please call the Grand County Emergency Operations Center Information Line at 970-725-3803.
UPDATE (Oct. 28, 9:04 p.m.): Containment of the fire has increased to 30%, according to officials.
The latest size estimate remains at 193,774 acres.
UPDATE (Oct. 28, 5 p.m.): Pre-evacuation notices have been lifted in the following areas:
Highway 7 to Allenspark, Highway 7 east to Panorama Peak, the Estes Valley east of the Marys Lake Road corridor east of the Elm Road corridor and east of the Fall River corridor, Highway 34 from Mall Road to the Dam Store, County Road 31D from Sylvan Dale to Ellis Ranch, the Crosier Mountain area north of Highway 34 and County Road 43 west of Glen Haven to Estes Park.
Residents in those areas are no longer under any restrictions.
The Town of Estes Park issued the following statement about allowing visitors to return:
“The East Troublesome Fire Thompson Zone is still a potential threat to the Estes Valley. However, due to the snow, fire officials want to allow residents and visitors to return, and businesses to operate as much as possible, as they continue to monitor and manage the fire.”
UPDATE (Oct. 28, 4:30 p.m.): Students in the East Grand School District will resume classes Monday after forced evacuations last week.
Superintendent Frank Reeves sent a letter to parents today notifying them and letting them know the options that are available who are not able to return to their normal living situations.
“We also recognize that for some families and students, school is not a priority at this time. We will be flexible in working with individual family situations as we recover from this tragedy,” he said.
UPDATE (Oct. 28, 9:30 a.m.): New data lists the East Troublesome Fire at 193,794 acres, although incident managers say this is a result of more accurate mapping and not actual growth of the fire.
Snow is melting into the snow, which is helping to suppress the fire, but there are some hot spots that have started smoldering.
Yesterday, fire leadership scouted the current conditions of the fire and the fire line while holding most crews back at the command post.
Today, leadership will continue to determine how and when crews will be able to get back to engaging the fire safely. Firefighters may start preparing an alternative fire line in Rocky Mountain National Park if conditions allow.
UPDATE (Oct. 27, 11:59 p.m.): CDOT reports fire department activity between Cabin Creek Rd and Taylor Rd (5 to 8 miles east of the Estes Park area). The road is open to local traffic only.
UPDATE (Oct. 27, 9:15 a.m.): Temperatures are expected to warm to around 32 degrees today with dry air, meaning that the snow on the ground will evaporate instead of melting into the ground. The snow has slowed fire activity, but it’s not expected to extinguish the fire.
Because of the snow on the ground, most crews spent Monday at the incident command post.
Today, the majority of crews will continued to be staged and ready to mobilize as conditions change. In the lull in activity they will continue working on equipment repairs and assisting damage assessment crews.
UPDATE (Oct. 27, 7:45 a.m.):
UPDATE (Oct. 27, 7:30 a.m.): In a Facebook update on Tuesday morning, Grand County officials said that the snow that fell Sunday and Monday will not be enough to end the wildfire season. \
“It doesn’t look like the fire we had last week and we are thankful for that, but we’re going to continue to work.”
Firefighters will engage and take advantage to patrol and secure the lines of the fire on Tuesday.
UPDATE (Oct. 26, 5:59 p.m.): According to officials, the containment was still at 15% this morning but they expect that to go up after tonight’s update.
Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin said it was a successful day for the Damage Assessment Team but could not give an exact number of lost structures as officials are still determining what certain structures were.
Schroetlin said people are bypassing barricades to get into neighborhoods and taking pictures. It has become a problem and hindering the DAT’s progress as well as violating owner’s privacy.
“People are finding out about their houses on Facebook, on other mechanisms, on social media and that is not acceptable,” he said. “These people are victims. They’re in these neighborhoods. They deserve the right to have contact by the appropriate notification process.”
Officials said the investigation was not hindered by the snow as they know the location of origin and are still processing the area.
UPDATE (Oct. 26, 2:53 p.m.): GCSO’s re-entry plan for areas on the east side of Highway 34 on Monday included all areas south of the intersection of Hwy 34 and County Road 6 east and west on both sides of the highway, including all areas of CR 6. CR 40 remains closed.
At 4:00 p.m. areas on the east side of Hwy 34 north into the Town of Grand Lake will be open to just north of the Gateway Inn at MM 14.5. Residents will be allowed to access those areas east of Hwy 34. Areas to the west of Hwy 34 will remain closed as firefighters, law enforcement and Disaster Assessment Teams continue their work.
Electricity and gas are now available east of Hwy 34. Three Lakes Sanitation will have service water.
Check out the map of the areas re-opened to residents:
UPDATE (Oct. 26, 9:30 a.m.): Today crews are staging near the incident command post so they are ready to go as the snow ends. They will use this down time to make any repairs to equipment.
Some fire crews will be used to assist damage assessment crews into the evacuation areas.
The cold and snow will create new firefighting hazards, including icy roads, falling trees and frozen equipment.
Also during this down time, the incident management team will work on long-term modeling to see what the impact will be from this snow down the road.
UPDATE (Oct. 26, 7:55 a.m.) In an update Monday morning, Grand County fire officials shared this:
- Very happy to see the snow
- Pulled most folks off the line for safety of firefighters, roads were slick
- Fire activity was nothing much, smoldering (192,260 acres, 15% containment)
- People are keeping an eye on things throughout the day
- Some will be sent to areas and will determine what needs to be done
- Changes to fire footprints, with the weather, the fire wasn’t really going to grow. The snow should slow or halt future fire growth but won’t put the fire out
- Primary focus today and coming days: to get people back in their homes
UPDATE (Oct. 25, 6:39 p.m.): Pre-evacuation and evacuation orders have been lifted in all areas south of Highway 40; the Town of Granby, the Town of Hot Sulphur Springs; the south end of County Rd 21, all areas south of Granby through Tabernash. Any evacuated residents may return to their homes, but be vigilant and prepared if the East Troublesome Fire takes an unpredicted change.
Officials say the process is slow and methodical to assess structure damage due to the snow and road conditions on the west side of Highway 34.
UPDATE (Oct. 25, 12:15 p.m.): Fire officials have downgraded mandatory evacuations to voluntary evacuations for the following areas: Highway 7 to Allenspark, the east side of Highway 7 east to Panorama Peak, and Highway 34 from Mall Road to Drake. Residents and business occupants in those areas may return to their homes and businesses. Please be sure to have proper identification to show residency in those areas, as only residents and business occupants will be allowed to enter. We ask that you use caution when driving through the area, as emergency crews are still present. For a clear understanding of the downgrade changes, please visit nocoalert.org. Please do not call 911 unless you are in danger.
UPDATE (Oct. 25, 12:15 p.m.): Grand County Emergency Management: “Over 65 contractors and plumbers gathered this morning with Sheriff Schroetlin as he briefed them on the plan to to minimize potential damage to plumbing in the Fire evacuation areas. This plan was developed late last night, yet all these volunteers showed up early this morning, ready to race against the coming freeze. The response from contractors and plumbers has been amazing!”
UPDATE (Oct. 25, 11:15 a.m.): As of Sunday morning, the fire is 192,560 Acres with 10% containment. Active spread is not expected today due to colder temperatures and snow.
UPDATE (Oct. 25, 11:05 a.m.): On Saturday, crews continued work on securing fireline along both Hwy 34 and Hwy 125 especially around the Table Mountain area. North of Grand Lake, crews mopped up the buffer created by the previous burnout operation as well as extinguishing hot spots around structures in the Grand Lake area. Along Hwy 40, engines had a successful day holding the fireline north of the highway. Firefighters are using the method of cold-trailing which includes carefully inspecting and feeling with your hands to detect any heat from the fire and extinguishing any areas they may find. As the fire did grow to the north, crews focused on structure preparation near private in-holdings and structures within the National Forest and National Park. Night crews worked until 2 a.m. monitoring fire behavior before the winter storm warning started.
As conditions allow today, firefighters will continue reinforcing the work from the past couple days. Fire officials will work with the incident meteorologist throughout the day to review snow and weather conditions. With expected low temperatures, gusty winds and snow, firefighters will remain flexible to adapt their work plans focusing on safety while on the fireline and driving to and from the fire area.
UPDATE (Oct. 25, 9:51 a.m.): Evacuation orders have been lifted for the Meeker Park and Wild Basin portions of Boulder County, according to the Boulder Office of Emergency Management.
UPDATE (Oct. 25, 9:38 a.m.): Crews are working to restore utilities in areas not directly impacted by the fire. Below is an update from the Grand County Emergency Operations Center:
Electrical Service: Hundreds of poles have been damaged or destroyed by the fire, similar to the damage to trees throughout the fire area. These damaged poles are a hazard for firefighters, first responders, and utility crews working in the area. Miles of power lines are down. Both poles and lines will require extensive repair and replacement.
Gas Service: Lines and distribution points may have been damaged in the fire and require testing to confirm safe operation.
Water Service: Lines and distribution points may have been damaged in the fire and may require testing to confirm safe distribution of water to customers served by water districts.
UPDATE (Oct. 24, 10:10 p.m.): According the Colorado National Guard, Gov. Jared Polis activated personnel to aid emergency services and incident fire command of the East Troublesome Fire.
UPDATE (Oct. 24, 6:30 p.m.): It was a very active suppression day across the south and east flanks, especially in the East Troublesome Fire. Officials say there was some activity they had not seen before on the Williams Fork Fire.
“From a fire spread and impact perspective, a good day for the firefighter and a good day for the community,” Incident Commander Noel Livingston said.
There was one spot fire on Highway 40 but firefighters and helicopters were able to control that quickly.
Livingston said crews worked to protect structures on the southeastern side of the fire from Table Mountain up to Grand Lake.
Watch full update below:
UPDATE (Oct. 24, 5:07 p.m.): New video from the Mill Creek Interagency Hotshot Crew on the East Troublesome Fire shows activity today with the winds gusting through the area.
Check out the aerial view of damage caused by the fire around King Mountain Ranch and C U Lazy Ranch near Granby, courtesy of Frank Cohen.
UPDATE (Oct. 24, 4:35 p.m.): Check out the radar showing the activity of the fire with gusty winds swooshing through it.
UPDATE (Oct. 24, 2:20 p.m.): Wind gusts are still strong in the fire area:
UPDATE (Oct. 24, 1:56 p.m.): A cold front continues to move into Colorado, but no significant precipitation has been reported yet.
According to the National Weather Service, significant moisture arrives after 9 p.m.
As of noon, the fire was still west of Bear Lake Road, according to the US Forest Service.
UPDATE (Oct. 24, 1:25 p.m.): Most of the mountains are under a Red Flag Warning today. One can hear the wind in the video below from our Nicole Fierro:
UPDATE (Oct. 24, 11:34 a.m.): Satellite imagery from the National Weather Service shows continued active fire behavior for both the East Troublesome and Cameron Peak fires.
UPDATE (Oct. 24, 10:43 a.m.): The fire has burned 188,389 acres — up only a few hundred acres from the previous estimate.
UPDATE (Oct. 24, 9:57 a.m.): Helicopter and airplane crews helped fight the fire yesterday, and more air operations are planned for today if wind conditions allow, federal officials said.
They added the following update:
“Crews will continue to focus efforts on point-protection along the Hwy 34 corridor while also working to establish containment lines directly on the fires edge where possible. On the north
side of the fire and into Jackson County, firefighters are scouting for opportunities to establish contingency lines. Along Hwy 40, engines will continue to hold the line and keep the fire to the north of the highway, using the method of cold-trailing which includes carefully inspecting and feeling with your hands to detect any heat from the fire and extinguishing any areas they may find.”
UPDATE (Oct. 24, 9:28 a.m.): Crews’ focus right now is to hold the fire west of Bear Lake Road.
“Fuel treatments completed by the Park over the past several years will be utilized to help check the fire and slow or stop its movement towards the community of Estes Park if possible,” officials said in an update.
UPDATE (Oct. 24, 9 a.m.): New mandatory evacuation orders are in place for areas along Highway 34 from Estes Park to Drake, according to the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office.
UPDATE (Oct. 24, 8:46 a.m.): The fire is now about one mile away from the western edge of Estes Park. The local fire chief expects some structures to burn today.
UPDATE (Oct. 24, 8:35 a.m.): According to the Boulder Office of Emergency Management, contrary to information provided by Larimer County authorities, Allenspark is not under a mandatory evacuation order. The town and surrounding area is under a pre-evacuation notice.
UPDATE (Oct. 24, 8:28 a.m.): According to the National Weather Service, both the East Troublesome and Cameron Peak fires remained active overnight and this morning.
“Strong winds up to 60 mph and low humidity may allow for rapid fire growth today,” the NWS said.
UPDATE (Oct. 24, 7:51 a.m.): The Grand County Office of Emergency Management is warning evacuees of scammers.
UPDATE (Oct. 24, 7:41 a.m.): All evacuees needing shelter can go to the Isle of Capri casino in Black Hawk, located at 401 Main St., Black Hawk 80422.
UPDATE (Oct. 24, 6:38 a.m.): According to the Boulder Office of Emergency Management, a pre-evacuation notice has been issued for Wild Basin to the Larimer County line due. Evacuees may go to the Nederland Community Center, at 750 Highway 72 in Nederland. Use Highway 7 to Peak-to-Peak Hwy, south to Nederland.
UPDATE (Oct. 24, 6:19 a.m.): The east side of Estes Park is now under a mandatory evacuation order.
According to Larimer County officials, “this is a large area that has a north border of Devils Gulch Road, west border of MacGregor Avenue, south border of Pierson Mountain, and east borders of Highways 34 and 36. This will close Highway 34 at Sleepy Hollow Park, and close Highway 36 at approximately mile marker 8.”
Highways 34 and 36 remain open for people leaving town.
UPDATE (Oct. 24, 2:07 a.m.): The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office declared mandatory evacuations for Highway 7 from Lily Lake to Allenspark, to the Larimer County line.
UPDATE (Oct. 23, 10:22 p.m.): The Grand County Sheriff’s Office confirmed two fatalities in the fire: Lyle and Marilyn Hileman. They were 86 and 84 years old, respectively.
Their bodies were found today at their home just outside Grand Lake town limits.
UPDATE (Oct. 23, 8:19 p.m.): United Way of Larimer County’s fund previously dedicated to those impacted by the Cameron Peak Fire has been expanded to include county residents affected by East Troublesome.
““With the state’s two largest wildfires in state history burning in our backyard, we are partnering with community members and a wide variety of organizations to ensure fire recovery efforts are well supported and implemented quickly. United Way and the Larimer County Long Term Recovery Group will distribute these gifts where they are needed most: to agencies and groups helping people recover from disaster,” said Deirdre Sullivan, CEO and president of United Way of Larimer County.
To donate, visit the organization’s website or text COFIRES to 501501 to automatically make a $10 gift.
UPDATE (Oct. 23, 7:08 p.m.): Voters needing a replacement ballot can get one at a Voter Service and Polling Center in their county or — if they are displaced — in any county statewide. They can also request a ballot be mailed to them, so long as the request is made by Monday, Oct. 26.
“Those who have voted their mail ballot can place it in any drop box in the state of Colorado and it will be forwarded to their appropriate county,” the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office said.
First responders and evacuees can also request an emergency ballot replacement by contacting their county clerk.
UPDATE (Oct. 23, 6:51 p.m.): In an update posted earlier today, officials said no structures have been lost within the town limits of Grand Lake.
“Our firefighters are working around the clock to ensure that remains true. No homes and or businesses have been lost,” the Grand Lake Fire Protection District said in a statement.
Homes outside Grand Lake proper were destroyed, including those of three firefighters.
“We are continually searching for survivors and anyone who may have been trapped. So far we are unaware of any confirmed fatalities,” GLFPD said.
UPDATE (Oct. 23, 5:25 p.m.): Some residents who were under mandatory evacuation orders in Area CC can return to their homes, according to the Grand County Office of Emergency Management. However, they are still under pre-evacuation orders and must remain ready to leave.
See map below:
UPDATE (Oct. 23, 3:26 p.m.): Highway 40 has reopened, according to the Grand County Office of Emergency Management.
Drivers are asked to be careful and look out for firefighters and other first responders in the area.
“Access to Highway 40 will not yet allow residents to return to their homes within the evacuated areas,” Grand County OEM said.
UPDATE (Oct. 23, 3:09 p.m.): The fire has grown to 188,000 acres, according to the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. The previous estimated size was approximately 177,000 acres.
The East Troublesome Fire is 5% contained.
It is the second-largest wildfire in state history after the Cameron Peak Fire, which is burning to its northeast.
UPDATE (Oct. 23, 2 p.m.): Winds have calmed today, but Pinpoint Weather Meteorologist Chris Tomer said that’s going to change tomorrow. Wind gusts in the Grand Lake area could increase to 60 mph and beyond.
UPDATE (Oct. 23, 8 a.m.):
UPDATE (Oct. 23, 7:35 a.m.): At least 5 people are unaccounted for in the East Troublesome Fire. The Grand County Sheriff said that there may be more as more people call in to report their loved ones as missing.
UPDATE (Oct. 23, 7:20 a.m.):
UPDATE (Oct. 22, 9:20 p.m.): Colorado Gov. Jared Polis will visit fire-related sites on Friday. He will first meet with evacuees in Winter Park, then moves on to meet with air support experts at Rocky Mountain Metro Airport in Broomfield.
He then moves to Loveland for incident command updates on the Cameron Peak Fire and the East Troublesome Fire in the afternoon and finishes off in Boulder with a live update we will stream here and in app.
UPDATE (Oct. 22, 5:30 p.m.): The East Troublesome Fire has now burned about 170,000 acres primarily in Grand County but also includes a spot fire across the Continental Divide on Mt. Wuh.
The spot on Mt. Wuh grew rapidly, but then a cold front moved in on the east side of the divide which helped keep the spread in check.
Fire control lines have held along the southeastern corner of the fire. Crews are working on wrapping it around through the Willow Creek area and to Lake Granby.
Incident Manager Noel Lingston said the biggest area of concern is near Lake Granby, this includes the fire possibly spreading between there and Shadow Mountain Lake.
“This area has been very problematic today with the winds we’ve been having,” he said.
Most of the smoke Thursday, according to the incident manager, was from the north flank of the fire where heavy timber has been burning.
As for updates on structures in the area, specifically Grand Lake, Sheriff Brett Schroetlin said investigation crews have not yet gotten into the area and will not until the fire is more controlled in the area.
UPDATE (Oct. 22, 4:20 p.m.): New satellite imagery from the National Weather Service shows clouds hovering over the Front Range but not quite making it into the mountains and over the East Troublesome Fire.
UPDATE (Oct. 22, 3:33 p.m.): Officials have ordered voluntary evacuations for the eastern side of Estes Park. This is a large area that has a north border of Devils Gulch Road, west border of MacGregor Avenue, south border of Pierson Mountain, and east borders of Highways 34 and 36.
UPDATE (Oct. 22, 3:21 p.m.): The East Troublesome Fire officials have ordered Voluntary evacuations for Highway 7 from Lily Lake to Allen’s Park, stopping at the Larimer County line.
UPDATE (Oct. 22, 3:15 p.m.): Pinpoint Weather Meteorologist Matt Makens says the wind is currently pushing the East Troublesome Fire into Rocky Mountain National Park. Our team is watching a potential shift later tonight that would change the wind direction and start pushing the fire to the south.
UPDATE (Oct. 22, 2:45 p.m.): The East Troublesome Fire officials have ordered Mandatory evacuations for the following areas of Estes Park that were previously on voluntary evacs: the area with the north border of Peak View Drive, west border of Mary’s Lake Road, and south and east borders of Fish Creek Road; also, the area with the north border of North St. Vrain Ave, west border of Curry Drive, south border of Acacia Drive, and east border of Fish Creek Road.
UPDATE (Oct. 22, 1:30 p.m.):
UPDATE (Oct. 22, 1:20 p.m.): #EastTroublesomeFire Evac Update: At this time, Larimer Humane Society is asking evacuees who are evacuating: 1. via Hwy 34 and Hwy 36 to transport your small companion animals to our partner shelter, Riverdale Animal Shelter of Adams County, 12155 Park Boulevard in Brighton, CO, and they can be reached at (720) 523-7387. 2. If you are evacuating via Hwy 7, please transport your animals to Gilpin County Fairgrounds as they are open and available to take large and small animals. They can be contacted at 303-515-4342 and their address is 230 Norton Drive, Black Hawk CO 80422. For assistance with small animal transport, call Larimer Humane Society: 970-226-3647 x 7
UPDATE (Oct. 22, 1:10 p.m.): East Troublesome Fire officials have ordered Voluntary evacuations for another portion of Estes Park with the north border of North St. Vrain Ave, west border of Curry Drive, south border of Acacia Drive, and east border of Fish Creek Road.
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. Please use Highway 34 eastbound to exit Estes Park.
UPDATE (Oct. 22, 12:20 p.m.): The East Troublesome Fire officials have ordered Mandatory evacuations for the western part of Rocky Mountain National Park and much of the west side of the Estes Park area. This area includes the Rocky Mountain National Park west entrance, Moraine Park, Estes Park Campground, the southern part of Highway 7 north to Marys Lake, Peak View Drive including the Aerial Tramway and north to include Deer Ridge. Mandatory Evacuation have been ordered 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 questions about the evacuations, please call the Joint Information Center at 970-980-2500. For text updates, text the word TFIRE to 888777 from your cell phone. We will communicate information to that key word as needed. To view a map of the evacuation areas, please visit nocoalert.org. Please do not call 9-1-1 unless you are in danger. Thank you.
UPDATE (Oct. 22, 12:20 p.m.): All routes into Estes Park are closed at this time. Roads are open for exit only.
UPDATE (Oct. 22, 11:49 a.m.): This is the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office with an emergency message. The East Troublesome Fire officials have ordered voluntary evacuations for the western part of Rocky Mountain National Park and much of the west side of the Estes Park area. This area includes the Rocky Mountain National Park west entrance, Moraine Park, Estes Park Campground, the southern part of Highway 7 north to Marys Lake, Peak View Drive including the Aerial Tramway and north to include Deer Ridge. 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. Please use Highway 34 eastbound to leave the area. For questions about the evacuations, please call the Joint Information Center at 970-980-2500. For text updates, text the word TFIRE to 888777 from your cell phone. We will communicate information to that key word as needed. To view a map of the evacuation areas, please visit nocoalert.org. Please do not call 9-1-1 unless you are in danger. Thank you.
UPDATE (Oct. 22, 11:24 a.m.): URGENT: The Routt National Forest is assisting the Jackson County Sheriff in evacuating hunters and other members of the public from National Forest in Jackson County, Colo., northeast of the East Troublesome Fire.
Starting from the Jackson/Grand county line, the area of initial focus is east of Colo Hwy 125 to Rocky Mountain National Park and then north to Colorado State Forest. This includes Willow Creek Pass, Illinois Pass, Jack Creek, Silver Creek, Teller City, and Owl Mountain. The National Forest area west of Hwy 125 to Hwy 14 is under consideration for evacuation.
UPDATE (Oct. 22, 8:58 a.m.): All of Rocky Mountain National Park is closing to park visitors due to fire activity on the west side of the Continental Divide. If conditions allow, an Infrared flight is planned to gauge where there is current fire activity. This is a rapidly evolving situation.
Currently, air quality is hazardous within Rocky Mountain National Park.
Trail Ridge Road is not passable on the west side due to downed trees on the road.
UPDATE (Oct. 22, 8:33 a.m.): Today’s mission: “life safety,” evacuations, future fire growth and home protection
UPDATE (Oct. 22, 8:20 a.m.): Here’s what we learned overnight:
- Fire grew over 100,000 acres in 24 hours
- Fire ran over 20 miles in 24 hours
- Fire burned west and north side of Grand Lake
- Fire spared immediate downtown Grand Lake
- Fire is now burning into west side of RMNP
- Fire is on/approaching the Continental Divide
UPDATE (Oct. 22, 6:25 a.m.): The fire has now grown to 125,677 acres overnight. The fire was 19,000 acres 12 hours ago.
UPDATE (Oct. 22, 4:50 a.m.): The fire has shown no signs of laying down overnight and instead, we continue to see large pockets of flames from our vantage point along US 40 on the outskirts of Granby. We know homes have burned but we don’t know the scope of the devastation yet.
UPDATE (Oct. 22, 4:05 a.m.): The fire grew to 38,989 acres overnight, according to the Grand County Bureau of Land Management.
UPDATE (Oct. 22, 1:45 a.m.): “It was a challenging day,” Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin said in a recorded message posted to Facebook. “Daylight’s going to tell us a lot.”
Strong winds and dry fuel allowed the fire to grow at a rate of 6,000 acres per hour he said.
UPDATE (Oct. 22, 1:20 a.m.): FOX31 obtained a video that shows firefighters on structure protection operations northwest of Granby.
UPDATE (Oct. 22, 12:49 a.m.): Workers at the Granby evacuation center say every hotel room in Grand County is booked. People are going as far as Black Hawk and Idaho Springs for accommodations.
Those in need of sheltering assistance from the Red Cross can call: 970-242-4851 or 970-406-0641.
Livestock can be taken to Middle Park Fair and Rodeo Grounds in Kremmling. There is space for large and small animals. Those with questions can call: 970-531-4408.
People with questions about household pets can call the animal shelter at: 970-531-3847.
UPDATE (Oct. 22, 12:26 a.m.): A look at the fire from Winter Park:
UPDATE (Oct. 22, 12:17 a.m.): FOX31’s Evan Kruegel spoke with a man and woman who live off of Highway 34 in the Grand Lake area.
“We didn’t really have time to grab too much. According to the map, it’s not too far from our house right now,” the man said. “So we’re just hoping that it doesn’t hit our house. Nothing to do but hope right now, I guess.”
Watch the full interview in the video player above.
UPDATE (Oct. 21, 11:26 p.m.): Gov. Jared Polis has issued the following statement about the fire:
“The Governor thanks all of the brave men and women who are risking their lives to protect our communities serving on the front lines of the devastating fires around our state and is thinking of the Coloradans evacuating their communities tonight. He will be providing an update on the state’s response to these challenging wildfires tomorrow.”
UPDATE (Oct. 21, 11:19 p.m.): Satellite imagery from the National Weather Service shows “fire activity continuing” along US Highway 34 in the Grand Lake area:
UPDATE (Oct. 21, 11:10 p.m.): Below is a close-up of evacuation areas in and around Grand Lake.
A full map can be found here.
UPDATE (Oct. 21, 10:39 p.m.): The Rand and Gould areas of Jackson County are under a pre-evacuation notice. According to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, people in those areas should collect important items and be prepared to leave.
UPDATE (Oct. 21, 10:21 p.m.): The fire has increased in size by roughly 50% to at least 30,000 acres, officials said. The previous estimate was 19,086 acres.
UPDATE (Oct. 21, 10:08 p.m.): Residents forced from their homes can go to the Red Cross’ evacuation center, which is located at the Inn at Silver Creek in Granby: 62927 US Highway 40, Granby, 80446.
“Red Cross volunteers are there and are prepared and ready to accommodate anyone needing information or other assistance. They are also helping people with immediate needs, lodging, supplies and support,” the organization said, adding that it is already helping hundreds of East Troublesome evacuees.
UPDATE (Oct. 21, 10:01 p.m.): Below is a statement from the National Weather Service’s Boulder office regarding evacuations in the Grand Lake area:
UPDATE (Oct. 21, 9:29 p.m.): Highway 40 is closed between Hot Sulphur Springs and Highway 34 due to firefighting operations. Flames will be visible in the area, according to the Grand County Office of Emergency Management.
UPDATE (Oct. 21, 9:08 p.m.): The entire town of Grand Lake has been told to evacuate, according to residents and emergency radio traffic.
UPDATE (Oct. 21, 9:02 p.m.): The west side of Rocky Mountain National Park is now closed. Evacuees can use Trail Ridge Road to go eastbound.
Additionally, an evacuation center has been established at the Inn at Silver Creek in Granby.
UPDATE (Oct. 21, 7:46 p.m.): Area H is now under a mandatory evacuation order. Residents should leave immediately.
UPDATE (Oct. 21, 7:34 p.m.): All residents north of mile marker 3 along Highway 34 must evacuate from the area immediately, according to the Grand County Office of Emergency Management.
UPDATE (Oct. 21, 7:09 p.m.): The Grand County Sheriff’s Office has issued a mandatory evacuation order for all areas west of Highway 34. Evacuees are told to go south on Highway 34.
UPDATE (Oct. 21, 4:34 p.m.): Authorities have issued new evacuation orders for east of Highway 125 from mile post 5 to Highway 40.
Officials say fire behavior has increased this afternoon, and “considerable smoke” is blowing into the Grand Lake area.
The fire’s size is now estimated at 19,086. It is 10% contained.
UPDATE (Oct. 19, 10:54 p.m.): As of Monday night, the fire is burning 13,364 acres with 10% containment. High winds and dry conditions are factoring into the spread of the fire.
UPDATE (Oct. 19, 11:15 a.m.): Overnight from Sunday into Monday the East Troublesome Fire spread by about 1/4 mile to the east.
The fire is currently estimated at 12,665 acres with 12% containment. A total of 231 personnel are working at the fire.
Today, air support will be used to drop water and retardant on the easternmost portion of the fire to slow progression toward Colorado Route 125.
UPDATE (Oct. 17, 11:24 a.m.): According to the Colorado Climate Center, based on available data, there is no record of such a large wildfire starting so late in the year. The East Troublesome Fire started on Oct. 14.
UPDATE (Oct. 17, 10:38 a.m.): An additional mandatory evacuation has been issued for both sides of Highway 125 from mile marker 5 to the Grand County-Jackson County line.
An evacuation center has been established at the Inn at SilverCreek in Granby.
A map of the new evacuation area is below:
A Red Flag Warning is in effect for the fire area until late this afternoon.
UPDATE (Oct. 17, 10:26 a.m.): According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, Highway 34 is closed near Granby due to the fire. The closure is located from Granby (mile marker 0) and continues north to miler marker 27. There is no estimated time of reopening.
CDOT issued the following detour information:
Residents and travelers can detour around the closure from Granby by traveling west on US Highway 40 for 55 miles, then turning east onto Colorado Highway 14 towards Walden. Please note CO 14 continues to be closed east of Walden, but travelers can continue further north on CO 125 into Wyoming. A previous road closure in the area was lifted on Friday. Motorists coming from the north can use the same route in reverse.
The East Troublesome Fire in Grand County forced authorities to issue a new round of mandatory evacuation orders Friday evening.
According to the Grand County Office of Emergency Management, people in the Sheriff Creek and Kinney Creek areas must leave the area.
The U.S. Forest Service said the fire is burning on federal land north of Parshall and Kremmling.
When the fire started on Wednesday, the Big Horn Park area was placed under a mandatory evacuation order.
Evacuees should go to the Kremmling Fairgrounds for accountability, GCOEM said.
As of Friday afternoon, the fire had burned 7,871 acres. There is no estimate on containment.