FORT COLLINS, Colo. (KDVR) — The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office says roughly 10,000 evacuation notices were sent Wednesday, as high winds fueled the Cameron Peak Fire west of Fort Collins.
As of Thursday, that fire had topped 167,000 acres, making it the largest in Colorado history.
“It changed fast,” says Barry Grady. “It went from a fire that was a long way away, and all of a sudden you’re in the middle of it.”
Grady lives in Buckhorn Canyon, and was told to quickly evacuate from his home Wednesday morning.
Thursday, video from SkyFox showed multiple homes burned in his neighborhood.
“It’s almost like, could it get any worse?” says Grady. “But then it’s like, yeah, it could get worse. Luckily everybody got out OK.”
Dozens of people are being housed in hotels in Fort Collins and Loveland, including the Courtyard by Marriott.
Alissa Page and her daughter were loading up their car at the hotel Thursday, with news their evacuation order had been lifted.
“It’s always bittersweet locking up and pulling away, knowing it could be the last time,” said Page. “So it’s definitely comforting knowing we get to come home.”
Firefighters are preparing for difficult conditions over the weekend, and warn more evacuations are possible.
“I know their goal is to get us home if they can,” says Page. “But realistically, we may be coming back here again.”