Red flag conditions may cause problems for the Kruger Rock Fire

Local News
Photo of the Kruger Rock Fire burning near Estes Park taken Tuesday morning, Nov. 16, 2021.

Photo of the Kruger Rock Fire burning near Estes Park taken Tuesday morning, Nov. 16, 2021. (Photo: Sasha Richmond)

ESTES PARK, Colo. (KDVR) – A strong cold front improved weather conditions overnight in Estes Park, a red flag warning begins about 10 a.m., bringing possible wind gusts of 25 to 35 mph in the valley areas.

Winds on the ridgetops could reach peak gusts of around 35 mph, according to the US Forest Service.

At last update, the Kruger Rock Fire was 146 acres and 40% contained. Light smoke was seen this morning.

WEDNESDAY UPDATES:

6:18 p.m.: Evacuations have been downgraded by the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office from mandatory to voluntary for residents and businesses in the area south and east of the intersection of Fish Creek Road and Little Valley Drive.

5:18 p.m.: The Kruger Rock Fire is burning 145 acres and containment is up to 40%. Warm and windy weather is expected Thursday, and crews will monitor the blaze overnight.

12:05 p.m.: Fire officials have lifted the evacuations for residents and business occupants located on the east side of Highway 36. This includes the Pole Hill Road and Panorama Peak area and everything south to the Boulder County line. Again, this is for the east side of Highway 36. Residents may return home.

12 p.m.: The fire is 140 acres and 15% containment. With public and firefighter safety a priority, the USFS plans to take advantage of cooler temps and lighter winds today. Fire resources continue to arrive from throughout the county, state and region.

7:15 a.m.: Town of Estes Park: We are deeply saddened by the news of the death of the pilot who was flying in support of the #KrugerRockFire response. Our hearts are with the pilot’s loved ones.

6 a.m.: An investigation into the cause of the fire has revealed high winds blew a tree onto a nearby powerline causing it to arc and start the fire.

TUESDAY UPDATES:

Update: 6:42 p.m.

The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office said the fire is up to 133 acres and up to 15% containment. Crews will continue to battle the fire overnight.

Update: 6:08 p.m.

The Town of Estes Park said power has been restored to most of the Little Valley and Rockwood Estates area.

The Twin Sisters Area of Rocky Mountain National Park has been closed due to the Kruger Rock Fire, but the Lily Lake Area remains open.

The evacuation center at the Estes Events Center will close at 6:30 p.m. and reopen at 7:00 a.m. on Wednesday, the Red Cross announced.

Update: 4:54 p.m.

Crews are working to restore power to the Little Valley area, the Town of Estes Park tweeted. The estimated time of completion is about four hours. Check out the map of the outage area.

Update: 3:44 p.m.

Roosevelt National Forest has closed lands south and east of Estes Park due to the Kruger Rock Fire, the Canyon Lakes Ranger tweeted.

Update: 3:07 p.m.

The Kruger Rock Fire burning near Estes Park is up to 115 acres but is 11% contained, the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office said. Officials said 150 personnel are currently working on the fire and more have been ordered to assist.

Update: 2:35 p.m.

The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office said the LifeBridge Church is available to fire evacuees for overnight sheltering. Reservations are not necessary: 10345 Ute Hwy., Longmont.

Update: 1:33 p.m.

The Larimer County Public Information Officer David Moore said no damage has been reported. The main focus for fire crews is on structure prevention.

Moore said steep terrain is making it difficult to get firefighters in the area. The threat of winds pushing the fire is hindering the capability of using air resources. Moore said they hope to get air resources in later today and night ops in if winds die down.

Update: 1:19 p.m.

The fire is currently burning 100 acres and there is no containment, officials said.

Update: 1:16 p.m.

Mandatory evacuations have been issued for the Pole Hill Road to Panorama Peak area on the east side of Highway 36 for residents and business occupants in the area.

Update: 12:13 p.m.

The sheriff’s office shared updated evacuation sites: 1125 Rooftop Way in Estes Park, and LifeBridge Church at 10345 Ute Highway in Longmont.

Update: 11:41 a.m.

The area of mandatory evacuations has been expanded. This is the message from the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office:

Fire officials have ordered an upgrade to mandatory evacuations for the area of Meadowdale and south to the Boulder County line, to include Big Elk Meadows and Pinewood Springs west of Highway 36, for residents and business occupants 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. 

Update: 11:30 a.m.

U.S. 36 is closed between Fish Creek Road (near Estes Park) and Apple Valley Road (near Lyons) – from Mile Point 1.5 to Mile Point 17.8 – because of the Kruger Rock Fire.

Update: 10 a.m.

The YMCA of the Rockies says there is no threat to their operation at this time, and they remain open.

Update: 9:50 a.m.

The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office’s best estimate is 75 acres. Structures are threatened, but no damage reported at this time.

Update: 9:30 a.m.

See the evacuation map here.

Update: 8:51 a.m.

CSP Larimer: Please avoid Highway 36 and Highway 34 to Estes Park for emergency operations for a wildfire near Estes Park.

Update: 8:50 a.m.

The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office says the fire is estimated at 20 acres near Little Valley Road and Fish Creek Road in Estes Park.

Update: 8:37 a.m.

Power has been restored to the north portion of Fish Creek Rd and Carriage Hills. Power remains shut off to Little Valley for fire operations.See power outage map here 

Update: 8:20 a.m.

Estes Park Emergency Communications Center. Estes Valley Fire has upgraded the evacuation orders to mandatory for the area of Hermit Park. Residents and business occupants in the area of Hermit Park should evacuate due to immediate and imminent danger.

Estes Valley Fire Protection District said the fire is located in Little Valley and Fish Creek near Kruger Rock. The fire is estimated to be five acres in size as of 7 a.m.

EPECC said residents in Little Valley should evacuate to the Estes Park Event Center at 1125 Rooftop Way.

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