SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — The Summit County Sheriff’s Office has announced mandatory evacuations are being lifted for the Ptarmigan Fire effective 10 a.m. on Thursday. Angler Mountain and Hamilton creek neighborhoods will move to pre-evacuation.
Fire officials tell FOX31’s Evan Kruegel that steady rain throughout Tuesday and Wednesday allowed ground crews to safely hike into the area, and establish decent fire lines on the south and west ends of the fire.
Officials warn the fire could continue burning for weeks, and those returning home should be prepared to leave again should conditions change.
The Ptarmigan Fire near Silverthorne is estimated at 80-100 acres with no containment. Although precipitation has slowed the spread of the fire, it has also hindered aerial attacks.
Mandatory and pre-evacuation orders now lifted threatened over 600 structures in the area.
The recent rain showers have slowed the burn, however, it has stopped all fire-fighting aircraft from operating until it clears up.
Operations focused on continued structure protection activities and creating fireline where it is safe and effective to do so. The area of the fire is burning in rugged terrain creating a challenge for crews to battle the blaze directly on the ground.
“If we keep getting a lot of moisture, that’s really going to help. But it took a really long time for these heavy fuels — the thick timber — to get as dry as it is. So it’s going to take a long time for the moisture to have an impact on it,” said White River National Forest personnel David Boyd.
An update will be given at 6 p.m. and can be seen in the FOX31 NOW app in this post.